Lately I have been feeling an intense excitement for summer and the approaching months of relaxation, but recently this has been overriden by feelings of stress and anxiety about getting everything done.
I’ve noticed my mood improve considerably as the days get longer and the air gets warmer, but I’ve also been noticing my stress increase, along with the feeling of “hurry up and relax”. These feelings have increased these past couple of weeks especially! I always have a set time in my head when I want to have everything completed on my to do list each day to ensure I have a certain amount of time to relax. While this usually is a great strategy for motivating myself, I’ve noticed such an increase in my anxiety when I get home from work and try to rush to get everything done so I have more time to sit and chill. By the time I sit down to relax, I can’t calm down and feel like I need to be doing something more productive. 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), since 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. If I love planning so much, how come I look forward to starting but then make myself so anxious while working on it that I can’t enjoy it?!
I think I’ve been unconsciously sabatoging the joy I get from activities I love most because I am so focused on getting them done. 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.
I’ve had some of the best experiences in my life during the times when I let myself relax and be easy going, and yet things still managed to get done. As summer approaches and the to do list for the wedding and workouts start to lengthen, I am going to let myself enjoy the process.
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 why can’t that be my relaxation time for the day?
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, enjoy the people, and appreciate the good things in life, and I intend to be ready to do just that.