Learning to let go: Prioritising Yourself
Letting go is hard to do…..but it’s the right thing to do
Let Go of Work
I left work last week to start my maternity leave. I found it really difficult actually, even though I was pretty relieved to be leaving as I felt pretty tired and fat and ready to be at home and get ready for the new arrival. Why did I find it hard? I found it hard because I had to let go of the things I had control of at work. I had to hand things over to other people. I couldn’t finish some pieces of work, and it was hard to leave something half-finished for someone who is a complete perfectionist. I also couldn’t do some things at work due to risk, and I had to let other people do these things for me. It felt a little disempowering, to be honest.
I found myself getting more worked up about these little things, as I felt such possession over my work and my role, I was struggling to let go, even though bizarrely it was my choice to have another baby which led me to the situation in the first place! I’ve never been good with transitions, and this is just another case of me having to learn to move on and let go.
Let Go of Maternity Leave
It reminded me of going back to work after maternity leave. I had to let go in reverse that time. I had created a lovely maternity leave bubble, and having spent almost every day for a year with Nancy I found it really hard to hand her over to other people to look after as I went to work. I knew her little ways, what she liked to eat, how she liked to sleep. I couldn’t imagine how she would cope with other people doing these things with her, and I really did struggle initially when others were out having fun with her, whilst I was sat at work.
Over time, it became easier. Life become routine, normal and everyone settled into their lives and roles. Time and space is a good healer. Just as now, sitting here in my living room watching Netflix, any feelings of stress about my job have all dissipated. I can’t even remember what I was getting so het up about. I’ve let go, I’ve relaxed, I’ve cleared my mind of the stress that was balled up in there the past few weeks and I’m focusing on the next task – getting this bubba out. Gulp.
Let Go of Stress
This has got me thinking in general about trying to let go and eradicate stress in my life. The past 12 months have been highly stressful and for a while my mental health suffered. Since this time I’ve tried hard to not let things escalate.
Stress in general can block you from achieving what you want, as can other people. I find I’m always the person people come to with a problem or an issue; I do like to help others but there comes a time for all of us when the stresses and worries of others can be reflected back onto us, and we suddenly feel responsible for other people and their actions, or desperately trying to think of solutions for other people. It becomes even more frustrating when those you are trying to help, and asked for help, don’t even take the advice or listen to your solutions, meaning you have worried and stressed about something for nothing!
You shouldn’t feel guilty for prioritising yourself in your life.
Focus on YOU
So, how do you let go? How do you drop these things from your mind when initially they can seem all-consuming? I think you have to focus on one thing: yourself.
What makes you happy.
What can you actually do.
Your life. Your dreams. Your wishes.
Doing things for myself and getting interested in crafts and creative tasks have really helped me to calm and relax. It is amazing how your mind can empty when you pick up a crochet hook or start reading a book. It’s important to remember to make time for yourself amidst the work, family, friends, babies.
Let Go of trying to fix others
I’ve also learnt that I can’t fix everything, or everyone. I can help as much as I can, but there comes a time when you just have to stop and regroup, and not let it totally consume you.
I could sit here and worry and stress about a hundred different things – and yes, sometimes things do take over my mind and I find it hard to shake off. But I try my best not to worry about things I have no control over, or that don’t even directly affect me. I can’t solve everyone’s problems and I’ve realised that in order to make myself happy, I have to focus on my life, and what I want from it. You shouldn’t feel guilty for prioritising yourself in your life.
Letting go of all of these things is empowering.
If people want you in their life, they will make the effort, as will you. If you’ve managed to work out how to juggle your life, solve your problems, others can do too. If people choose not to accept your advice, that is up to them. You are not irreplaceable at work, someone else can do just as good a job as you, and they will – and that’s OK. Choosing to focus on your family and nothing else for a while is not selfish.
Letting go of all these things is hard, but it is the right thing to do. Getting caught up in all of these things is not healthy and will only make you feel bad – usually for no reason at all.
Let. It. Go.
(How tempted were you to start singing Frozen songs then, eh?)