You might already expect this, but this blogpost will be a little bit different than the blogposts I’ve shared before. Partly because I will talk about myself but mainly because I want to explain a couple of things to you.
As you can read here, I always try to post a blog on Monday and Thursday. The last couple of weeks, I had quite some trouble with that. I couldn’t seem to get it done before the due date and then I’d post it perhaps a day later. But: even though it took me a little bit longer, I did post the blog I was supposed to post. The past week, things were way different. Now you probably wonder: why?
Perhaps you noticed, maybe you didn’t (and that’s fine too:) but the answer is simple: I did not post, at all.
Now the thing about writing blogposts is: I love writing them. I love coming up with content, doing research and noting ideas. I love creating pictures and designing the covers. I love coming up with a good title and I love promoting my blog. In conclusion, I love blogs. So the actual question is: why didn’t I manage to just write two last week?
Why I haven’t posted a blog in over a week
It is December. And as many of you can relate, December is one of the busiest months. Christmas, New Year and perhaps other festive days fill your agenda and big chance you got a lot of things to finish: tests, exams, essays or something specific in your job. December is the month of spending (too much) money, working hard, not sleeping much and probably thinking, a lot. You are confronted as well, with your resolutions and with your ‘past’ me and ‘new’ me, as they say in the media. And one more thing I definitely struggled with: ‘how many things do I have to do on Christmas? How many parties am I invited to? Do I have a lot of friends who will give me gifts or send me Happy New Year wishes?’ The feeling of loneliness, even though I know I am not, sinked in and effected me. All this pressure contributes to damaging your mental health.
Now, I’d love to say that I am the queen of mastering overthinking, stress and sadness but it is easily said: I am not. It feels a little challenging but also relieving when I say that all those negative emotions have been taking control over me the past weeks. I haven’t been fully in the present, I did not take care of myself in a way that was helping me and I discovered that I am not that good in prioritizing, putting certain things first. Prioritizing is a very important skill. It is finishing the nr. 1’s before the nr. 15’s because the 1’s are simply more important than the 15’s. It is NOT watching 7 episodes of New Girl (recommended though:) with chocolate and then wasting the afternoon away with YouTube. And then after finishing watching YouTube, finding out that you don’t have any more time left that day. And then, the next morning, you have to stuff your 3-hour free time in the morning full with catching up from yesterday. Yes, of course that brings a lot of stress and emotion. So I would be lying if I said that my environment has been causing me negative emotions. It’s not the environment. But then what is it?
What has been damaging my mental health and stopping me from doing what I’m supposed to do?
As I said, it is a little difficult to admit, but it is definitely a big reason I was ‘too busy’ posting my blogs: myself. It was me, constantly thinking ‘oh I can do that tomorrow’ or ‘oh I will have time for that in two hours’. If there is one thing I’ve learned the past weeks: you don’t. You don’t have time to do that one thing tomorrow because tomorrow you will have other things to do. And if you do have time, you probably still have the same energy as you have now so you won’t finish it tomorrow, as well. It is a thought with a snowball effect and it is definitely a negative one. I wasn’t in the present and I was constantly in my head, thinking of everything but what I had to think about. I never had a moment of peace on my mind, because I didn’t make room for it. And this ignoring of my sadness (that was probably partly a cause of why I procrastinated so much) and to-do list only built up more sadness and pressure, as my to-do list was building up by the second.
What did I learn from these past few weeks and what do I want you to know?
If there is one thing I learned is that when I have some busy weeks coming, I need to put things first. Not think: oh, it will come when it’s supposed to come because sometimes, going with the flow won’t make you any happier. I’ve learned that I should start to learn that even when I’m busy, I have to stay in the present and not put myself in autopilot, because I won’t get any further nor any happier. I have to learn to practice self-care in a way I will notice difference, not because the media tells me ‘it’s good’. I have to learn how to make a to-do list that I can and will actually execute.
Perhaps these lessons are very specific, but I just wanted to share with you how I’ve been feeling lately and to explain why I haven’t been posting. I know it is not an excuse and from now on I will post regularly, but we are all human beings with feelings and sometimes it all gets a little too much. I just hope that with this article you might have gotten some inspiration too!
I hope that while reading this story and if you share the feelings I’ve felt, you’ve realized a couple of things now, as well. Realizing does not mean immediately changing, so be focused on it and try to be in a state of learning, so that you allow yourself to grow. But… what do I hope you’ve realized, then? First and foremost: be aware of the space around you and be aware whether you are ‘living’ in the past, present or future. Because once you are truly in the present, you become aware of the reality, not what is in your mind. Okay, that sounded very cliché, right? Let me explain: we are all living in our head, at least a little bit. We are constantly thinking about what we have to do, what happened in the past, what we are nervous about, what we would do with 10.000 dollars and besides all those thoughts, we still have to function properly. The moment you start to give in to those thoughts and you surround yourself with only those thoughts, you forget your real life. You forget that there are people who love you, people who care but you also forget things you have to do, simply because you are spending time inside your head and not fully focusing on the present.
I hope with this explanation you understand how being in the past or future won’t make up anything for the present. You can also see this as multitasking: you are spending time in your own head and you are doing something else (with half focus). And you know what they say about multitasking? Multitasking is doing two things 50%. And with that, I think enough is said about this realization.
I know that this blog is a bit all over the place, but I genuinely hope you understand and could follow everything. Maybe it is because I’m exhausted, maybe there are other things, but things sometimes just come with twice as much trouble and the only thing we can do with that is learn and grow, so I hope you will do that too, because I most certainly will.
Merry Christmas to you & know that whether you are spending today with plenty of people or alone, you are loved and you matter. Be grateful for all that you have right now and love yourself, too. Merry Christmas!