With much of the UK in the middle of the school holidays, do you find yourself feeling guilty a lot of the time? It can be so difficult to juggle a life balance in normal everyday life with work/ home life/ your health and fitness and all the other responsibilities that go along with it – let alone adding children at home into the mix. It’s at these times that we can often find ourselves feeling like all of the plates we’re spinning start to crash down! The purpose of this blog is really to help you to put things into perspective.
Guilt isn’t a completely useless emotion; at times it can help to motivate you but feeling guilty all of the time will do no favours for your everyday mental health. Most people can feel guilty when they haven’t even done anything wrong but because they have high expectations for themselves. When those expectations haven’t been met, they can feel like they’ve let themselves down.
If you find yourself feeling guilty about not getting the laundry done or by falling off the diet wagon, or maybe not spending enough time with your kids, here are our top tips to ditch the guilt and help you to start feeling good again!
Own your decisions
When you’ve made a decision, it’s done – stand by it. Don’t agonize over what you could’ve done differently. Dwelling on what you did or didn’t do will not change anything, stop overthinking it.
If you’re struggling to let a decision go, think about why you came to that conclusion, remember that you did your best at the time, recognise that you may approach it differently in the future, then move on.
Focus on the great things YOU do
Most people prioritise the negative situations in their lives in order to avoid harm or pain. If you focus on the positives in your life, it can help to neutralise some of the negativity.
Set yourself a challenge that with every negative thought, you need to think of positive one. For example; if your find yourself running late for a friend’s performance, remind yourself that at least you turned up to support them and that’s wonderful!
Think about how you would treat someone else in the same situation
We are usually a lot kinder to other people than we are ourselves. You probably wouldn’t say half of the thoughts that you say to yourself to anyone else, so why should you treat yourself any differently? Don’t hold yourself to a different standard to everyone else, it’s unfair to you.
Things are not always “right” or “wrong”
It’s easy to think of things in terms of black or white or wrong or right! When in real life, things don’t work that way. We are all human, we all make mistakes. There is not necessarily a wrong or right way but just different ways to do things and that’s ok.
Know that it’s OK to take care of your own needs
Taking care of yourself is so important! If you don’t look after yourself how are you going to look after anyone else?
Next time you feel guilty for going to that fitness class because it cuts into family time, think about how the class makes you feel – does it help you to destress? Does it help you to feel relaxed or refreshed? That makes you better able to look after your loved ones! If this rings true – it’s worth it! Your needs are important too!
Put things into perspective
We can often overthink until everything is all out of perspective and the mountain that you have created is in fact a mole hill! Take a more realistic view of the situation by practising daily gratitude. Be thankful for all of the things you do have, food, shelter, clothing – the basics things! Once you can do that, forgetting to clean the kitchen won’t feel like such a big deal!
Accept that guilt can often be a useless emotion
Sometimes guilt can be a positive source of motivation but often it simply has no purpose. You can’t change the past but by taking responsibility of your actions and by focusing on the future it can lessen the feelings.
If you find yourself constantly struggling with guilt, it could be time to contact a mental health professional who can individually and help you to ditch the guilt.