Turn off “I should” and “I have to”!
Personal growth, learning, introspection and new habits—as a personal development and relationship coach, I am all for these things. I personally live and breathe these positive practices and I encourage my clients to do the same.
Yet, today I want to give you another option, that it’s okay to do the opposite. It’s okay to just be. Do less, not more. Focus on breathing and observing. You can still ask yourself, “now what?” but don’t feel any pressure to have the answer right away.
Like many of you at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I created a list of things I thought I should be doing to make the most of my time at home. From courses to take and books to read, to cooking and writing I would do. I listed the people I planned to connect with, how I would declutter my house and homeschool my children. Pretty much anything you can think of was on my list. And pretty soon, many free webinars and courses started to show up on my social media feeds and email inboxes. Anything and everything I ever wanted to learn, was at my fingertips.
But lately, through personal reflections and thoughtful conversations with my clients, I realize that another thing I can do right now is to stop. If there is a silver lining in this horrible pandemic, perhaps it is that it is giving us permission to just stop doing so many things. (And to stop thinking we should be doing so many things.)
Instead of a “to do list,” try instead to:
- observe more
- have more positive, connecting conversations
- do nothing
- enjoy a short walk and observe spring coming
- sleep more
- watch movies
- listen to music
- laugh and cry
Like many life crises, this one is giving us an opportunity to slow down. To reconnect with what is truly important. Now is the time to be at one with ourselves and with others (despite the physical distance). Now is the time to think about what we really want and to ask questions, without having to find the answers.
The science of positive psychology teaches us the importance of slowing down. Sometimes doing less is the path to happiness and fulfillment. This is important at any point in our lives, but even more now, during this difficult time that we are all going through.
We are in uncertain times and there are many aspects that are beyond our control. So I invite you to skip the lists and pressure of what you thought you “should” be doing right now, and just be. Choose to be kind to yourself and show yourself some empathy.