Lately I have been feeling an intense excitement for summer and the approaching months of relaxation. However, this feeling has has been overriden by those of stress, anxious about getting everything done. Sometimes life can present us with great ironies like this one: stress caused by excitement.
I’ve noticed my mood improving considerably as the days get longer and the air gets warmer, but I’ve also been noticing my stress increase. The feeling of “hurry up and relax” has been one I experience each night after work. In my head, I always have a set time when I want to have everything completed on my to do list each day. While this usually is a great strategy for motivating myself, I’ve noticed such an increase in my anxiety. I often get home from work and try to rush to get everything done so I have more time to sit and relax, thus defeating the point. Ugh, that doesn’t do me much good.
There’s definitely been a common the to my posts lately (hello summer, I’m looking at you). I just can’t contain my excitement and have been obsessively thinking about warm weather and sunshine. There are so many exciting things to look forward to this summer! With vacations, running, and a wedding, there comes a lot of planning – and I love planning.
But if I love planning so much, how come I make myself so anxious while working on it that I can’t enjoy it?!
In an attempt to fix this, I’ve decided to focus on one thing: SLOW DOWN.
I remember long before I had a job, when I was still in school and summer would bring trips to the neighborhood pool, sleeping in and bike rides with friends. Each summer, the first two weeks were filled with the feeling that I should be doing something, and it would take me a while before I got in the true summer groove. I think I am experiencing something similar now. It’s always hard to slow down when you’re used to going a million miles a minute, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really enjoyable.
So what if this means that I only get 10 minutes to read at night instead of 45? So what if this means I have to eat my ice cream while organizing wedding boxes, instead of in front of the tv?
If I am enjoying the process, then what does it matter how I am creating happiness?
Being mindful and present is such a challenging thing to do, but I am going to work on it over these next few months. Summer is a time to enjoy the weather, people, and appreciate the good things in life.