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Your wellbeing is (or should be) the most important thing in your life. If you don’t take proper care of it, it can have a profound impact on many other areas of your life. Your mood, your stress levels, even your relationships – they can all suffer.
There are many ways you can sabotage your wellbeing without even realising it. Yet some are more common than others. I’ve listed six here. Are you guilty of doing any of these?
CONSTANTLY PUTTING YOURSELF LAST
It’s good to be there when other people need you, just as some people are there for you when you need help. But if you’re spending more time focusing on helping other people than helping yourself, your own wellbeing will suffer. Maybe not to begin with, but eventually you’ll feel frustrated, tired, overwhelmed, and maybe even angry too.
Step back occasionally and think about how you’re carving up your time. Are you focusing on others more than on yourself? Then here's 12 Self Care Tips for your Mind, Body & Soul that help even when time isn't on your side.
This can be associated with the above issue, but it can also rear its ugly head on its own. It happens when you book an hour to go to a business meeting, and forget to allow enough time to get to and from that meeting as well. It can happen when you think you are capable of fitting in more than you can. And it certainly happens when you don’t rely on a diary or digital planner to help organise your life.
To combat this, make time for you and add those occasions to the diary first. If you want to go to the gym three times a week, add in the time to do that. If you attend a half-hour class, block out an hour so you have time to get changed and get to and from home as well. We all get busy days where we’re rushing around… but you shouldn’t always have days like this.
ALWAYS SAYING YES
It’s hard to say no to people, but sometimes you need to if you want to protect your own wellbeing and health, both physical and mental. If you find it hard to say no, just stop saying yes. I know – it sounds the same. But it’s not.
Instead of saying no, ask for time to consider the other person’s request. Then, go back to them later with a yes or no answer.
There was a time when I thought this was a good thing. Hey, I can get more done in less time! But you know, I eventually noticed all it did was make me feel ragged and run down. And all the things I tried to multitask to get done ended up being done far less successfully than if I focused on one at a time.
If you adopt the diary/planner approach I mentioned above, it is far easier to avoid the problem of multitasking. If you plan your day in advance, you shouldn’t need to do two things at once to get everything ticked off your list.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Does this count as sabotaging your wellbeing? It does – and for good reason, too. We all imagine the grass is greener on the other side of the proverbial fence. We look at others and imagine their lives are better than ours.
But this focuses the attention on the wrong things. We can never know what other people’s lives are like. We can only know what our own lives are like. Looking outwards like this leads to negative feelings and frustrations. Looking inwards allows us to see where we wish to improve, and where we want to make positive changes.
HANGING ONTO REGRETS
Most of us have regrets, but how many of us benefit from them? It doesn’t take research to know the answer is ‘none’. It is human nature to regret things occasionally, but don’t make the mistake of hanging onto those things. Accept them, and let them go. You can do nothing to change them now.
If you can do something, i.e. contact a friend you’ve fallen out of touch with, do it if it feels right. Otherwise, let go. Look ahead rather than back – you’ll save so much energy by doing this.
Are you self-sabotaging?
Perhaps you are guilty of one or more of the above things. Perhaps it’s something else I haven’t mentioned here. But whatever situation you are in, and however you have been affected by self-sabotage, you can take steps to change things today. You may find it difficult, and it may not introduce positive changes overnight, but you will benefit from the changes you make.
And you may soon realise your life can be so much more fulfilling, stress-free, and enjoyable as a result. How will you make those changes today?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.