Today I've felt really rundown, like the way I feel when I'm sick and my body has put me on bedrest so I physically can't operate like a functional adult. Maybe it's a pre-emptive suggestion as I'm teaching 8 classes over the next 3 days, but the involuntary shutdown left me with the anxiety that usually crops up in times like this. I become frustrated that my capacity to take care of things is diminished because I "just don't have time for it". I need to be productive.
So I make a To-Do list, a big ol' braindump in order to lay out all the things I feel like I need to accomplish before I can take the time to rest. The list itself is a pretty useful tool, but the mindset with which I make it determines whether it will serve me or bring on my monkey mind anxiety. My "Should" List had all the things I really would like to get done [eventually] accompanied by the "shoulding" that I react to and become stressed out by. With it all laid out it really looks pretty ridiculous. Really, Gina, people are judging you as a bad yoga teacher if you skip practice? You'll never have another chance to take a walk in the sun if you don't go now? .....probably not.
Shift perspective and add some mindfulness to your To-Do List, or even to the unwritten list in your head. "I should own a house by now." "I need to find a new job because I should have more money". "I should hang out with Soandso or I may not be invited out again". Listen to the negative self-talk and then tune in to really ask yourself if it's realistic. Take some time to identify your anxiety causing judgments and quit letting them bully you around!
In short, my anxiety isn't stemming from the length of my To-Do list or even the things on it. It comes from the dialogue I create in my head by judging myself, the strict rules I've set, the perceived lack of worth if I don't accomplish everything! I'm sharing this because I'd bet it's the same for you. Try making a Should list. Practice being kind to yourself.
Turns out that when I release the negative self-talk, I actually did want to update my blog here. Not because I should, but because in this moment it actually brings me more Joy rather than just avoiding anxiety. <3