I actually had very different plans for this week’s Postcard – initially, I wanted to cover the failed climate conference in Madrid. While I am still planning to discuss it, I had to adapt my plans at the last minute. Since yesterday, I am in bed with a cold. I can only blame myself for it. I was a bit careless with my outfits – style over protection against the cold. (The first few days I “beat the cold” by wearing t-shirts, thin blazers and a thin coat. It was -5 degrees and a temperature difference of over 30 degrees to Bangkok. Stupid, I know…). I rushed from meeting to meeting, met as many friends as possible, worked late. And yesterday it hit me.
This morning, I crawled out of bed – did not enjoy my coffee (clear sign that something is wrong) and then went back to bed. (I never do this. I am up at six every day no matter what and am really bad at napping during the day.) I immediately fell asleep but after some time I suddenly woke up panicking. I needed to cancel meetings, a ton of work was waiting for me and a lot of admin stuff is still not done for the year end. So I dragged myself out of bed and here I am now in front of my laptop.
I have to admit, I am really bad at taking a break. “Mellowing out” just does not come natural to me. I always need to do something and be active. I usually overdo it until I get sick. Work hard, party hard, travel a lot, exercise. And every time it happens, I make a deal with myself to practice self-care and not overdo it the next time. As you can see, I have been really successful with that…
While it definitely is a positive character trait to always want more and strive to be better, it can also backfire badly. I realised recently that instead of celebrating my successes, I talk them down and tell myself I could have worked even harder and achieved more. This is a vicious circle which, in the long run, can lead to the feeling that nothing is ever good enough. And it certainly does not contribute to being fit mentally and physically.
While I wrote this Postcard, I thought about what I could do differently next year to change this behaviour. Yesterday I talked to a friend about writing down your goals and have them in a place where you see them every day. While our conversation was rather about general idea about goals, I think it could actually be a good idea to try in 2020. But I will add another thing: once I reach a goal, I will cross it out. I will not remove it. I will have it in sight so I can see it that I have achieved it. And every time I achieve one of them, I will celebrate with a coffee or by meeting a friend or just by watching a silly TV show and finally show this stupid negative voice in my head the finger in 2020.
Speaking of silly TV shows – I am off to watching Shopping Queen (for all the non-German speakers, it is a really funny reality TV show which is, of course, highly intellectual 😉 ) and take a day off.
What about you? What do you do to relax and avoid to overdo it?