My OG (Original Gangster) stress busters included procrastination, avoidance, building up walls, and much much more. Instead of calming me, these old survival habits weighed me down, dissolved the trust I had in myself and honestly made me stress out more!
There had to be a better way. And I was on a mission to figure out what that was cuz I was sick of simply surviving.
In our world right now with COVID-19, it can be SO EASY to find things to stress you out and bring you down - if you let it.
I started to notice how I was showing up when I got stressed. I am what Gretchen Rubin calls a great ‘starter’. I will start a project, a new book, a new bag of chips, shit even a conversation and then ditch it halfway through! I would get overwhelmed by the number of tasks, what I would have to delegate, finding the time and all of the other excuses there are to not finish said things. I was (read: still) getting caught up in procrastination to relieve my stress of making decisions and following through. Anyone else?
I’ll get distracted or find something else new and shiny and go over there, or I'll just start another new thing. I'll over consume material that feels helpful but is timed poorly. Or my procrastination would show up as busy bee energy which was tricky because it felt like I was being productive.
It took curiosity and kindness to understand why I felt comfortable with this survival habit. I used to beat myself up because I thought that procrastination meant that I was lazy, but it was just how I learned how to deal with stress.
As a kid, I felt stressed and anxious all.of.the.time! No one taught me that I was stressing, or even how to deal so it's vital that we find healthy and helpful ways to get us back on track and help our kids understand this behaviour.
I’ve learned that my procrastination was disguising itself as passive action, I've learned that it shows up when I haven't taken the time to celebrate small wins. It shows up when I haven't planned all the way through. It shows up when there is a task that needs to get done that I don't like doing at all!
With this knowledge now I feel like a clairvoyant because I can see my procrastination coming from a mile away. I can plan to deal with it before it shows its stupid face and use one of my and trusty thriving stress busters BEFORE I need it.
We live in a world of instant gratification and so we've trained our brains to do the same. To make our brain stronger we need to tell it to CHILLL.
Make sure you are celebrating all of the things along the way! Get yourself an accountability person *ahem* me, and they can celebrate with you. Post success in a FB group, *ahem* this one, tell your friends. High 5 yourself! Remember how far you've come and take a second to celebrate it yourself!
What is your current relationship with procrastination?
What about in comparison to before this pandemic?
I use to believe that I worked well under pressure. I use to believe that I needed to have all of the answers and the best equipment in order to get things right. I use to believe that I couldn't overcome obstacles so it was safer to not do anything as a form to keep safe. I use to think procrastination gave me a leg up and would help avoid embarrassment and fear of judgement.
But now I believe in different things. I've chosen to believe in me.
I respect myself by respecting my time and completing what I have planned. I believe that perfectionism was just another survival habit. I believe that I am made for hard things and that my presence holds power.
A belief is just a thought you choose to keep on thinking. So what are you choosing to believe?