Our Brains Trick Us
They trick us into thinking we should be able to handle everything all at once.. the dishes, the laundry, working out every day and keeping up with the kids.
We set expectations for ourselves. Based on these expectations we judge ourselves for not being able to accomplish the endless to-do list…..the dishes, the laundry,… any household chores. Anything that requires some sort of physical and mental effort.
When we believe that we are unable to meet those expectations we feel like failures and quite possibly consider it to be a piece of our depression and/or anxiety. And the worst part is that the longer we don’t check something off of our to-do list, the worse it gets. The task continues to feel so overwhelming that it becomes impossible to accomplish. The cycle continues and our anxiety about the task is debilitating!
We label ourselves as failures, lazy, incapable and we continuously compare ourselves to others. The more it appears that others have their shit together the more worthless we feel.
How do you stop this vicious cycle? How do you stop these awful feelings?
- Go back to how it started in the first place.
- Change the way you think. Change your expectations
- What if you didn’t expect yourself to be able to do the dishes every day and keep up with laundry?
- What if you allowed yourself the time to let laundry pile up until you felt ready to do it without beating yourself up about letting it pile up?
- What if was OK to not be on top of everything ALL.OF.THE.TIME?
If we are all experiencing the same sense of anxiousness and unworthiness for not getting everything done like we think we’re supposed to, how can it be that we are all suffering from anxiety and depression? What if these feelings associated with not completing tasks is us suffering from the results of setting our expectations too high?
Lower your Expectations!
Lower your expectations. You can re-evaluate what you think you should be able to accomplish in a day/week/month/year and let yourself handle each task when you feel up to it and able? Tackle that mound of dishes when you’re feeling your best. Keep putting it off until you’re up to taking care of it and LET.THAT.BE.OK!
If you need to wash one spoon and one bowl for one meal then go ahead and do that. Who said that wasn’t ok? And if someone did say it wasn’t ok, who made them the ruler of clean dishes? Seriously! When I started breaking it down for myself I started realizing that all of these expectations are in my head. I get to set the rules for my life and getting the dishes done in a timely manner isn’t at the top of my list. Why? Because it makes me anxious. The bigger the mound the harder it is for me to get them done.
Pounds of unfolded laundry in my closet.. that’s ok, I’m too tired and it feels too hard right now.. I’ll let it sit until it doesn’t feel hard.
Ran out of clean underwear. Ok, I guess I’ll buys some new ones or wash one load of laundry with the necessities.
Don’t feel like showering… It’s Saturday.. it can wait till Monday.
There are too many things that I have to force myself to do that I simply run out of will power to get it all done. Work is exhausting, kids are exhausting, friends and family can be exhausting. I make endless to-do list. And I made it ok for items to carry over to the next list. I tackle them when I feel ready. The key is that I don’t pressure myself to do anything I simply don’t feel up to doing.
However, there are a few things I have to do to keep myself alive. Eating needs to happen or else I’ll die. Yep sometimes that can feel daunting and overwhelming but I think I’ll choose eating over doing laundry. We all get to pick our battles.
Take Away Message
If you get one thing out of this, all I ask is that you re-evaluate your expectations of yourself and give yourself a break! You are so beautiful and so worthy, why fill your head with lies. And please stop “shoulding” on yourself!
Love and Happiness,