Hey y'all! Do you push yourself too hard? If you do, welp, then I'm with you too! Sadly, it's a pushing yourself too hard (or too far) is a difficult habit to break, and my therapists have told me that this is a trait of being a perfectionist...and a workaholic. I find it hard to stop pushing myself because of how I was raised in the church: long-suffering was taught to us as one of the Fruits of the Spirit, so I always thought it was alright to push myself too hard. But it's not.
There's two ways to get something done that you don't want to do:
Learn to the love the things you hate, or
Just do it.
Sadly, this "Just do it" mentality can lead people like us to overdoing it, and ending up mentally burning out as a result. So how do you know when you're pushing yourself too hard?
I learned that I have to set boundaries, but not in the way everyone talks about online: I set circular boundaries, not lines in the sand. A close friend of mine advised I call them "zones", so now I call them "boundary zones" because of their shape.
My first boundary zone is my "comfort zone". I try to visit here from time to time, especially after I've accomplishing something incredible and want to reward myself with peace and relaxation.
My second boundary zone is my "risk zone". I like to park my metaphoric car here and walk around for a bit! I don't like taking risks. I typically have to push myself anytime I take a risk. But risk-taking is healthy and necessary for growth. Too much risk taking can be unhealthy however... leading us to boundary #3!
My third boundary zone is my "danger zone". My goal is to never go here, ever. However, I end up here by accident time to time. This is the zone where I push myself too hard (and way too far), ending up having a mental breakdown as a result (sadly).
So here's my tips and tricks to help you stay away from your danger zones and push yourself not so hard:
Be okay with taking a break as needed.
Take breaks cyclically, not just when you feel burnt out. I love to have a blend of scheduled and unscheduled breaks!
Try not to beat yourself up for failure. We're all human, and we all make mistakes.
Life is all a learning experience! Every "failure" you think you have is just one more step closer to growth!
Take breaks as an alternative to burning out. This is one of the hardest, but most needed, type of self-care for perfectionists and workaholics.
Journal moments of self-care and self-love so you can remember them when you're pushing yourself into the "danger zone".
*And remember: you are awesome, amazing, and capable of so much. No actions, nor people can ever take this away from you.
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Have a mentally healthy rest of your day!
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This blog was written with the help of Katherine Fleischman