Community//

Are You ‘Shoulding’ On Yourself?

3 Ways To Help You Stop

“I saw this meme the other day that said if you aren’t using this time in quarantine to do x, y, z then you are wasting your time” my friend complained to me the other day. 

She thought about it for a second and then decided that it was wrong to tell someone such a thing. 

The thing is that we are all managing our time and our lives to the best of our ability.

It looks different for each of us. 

This is due to a variety of reasons, specific triggers may be showing up right now may affect the way we feel and behave, or more specifically react. The sense of overwhelm and uncertainty can feel as though we are completely off balance not knowing ‘up’ from ‘down’. 

It’s inevitable that at some point we are going to ‘should’ on ourselves. 

“I should be more productive at this time.”

“I should declutter the house.”

I should be taking the time to finally write that book.”

“I should have systems in place for homeschooling.”

But here’s the thing…

You are doing the best that you can in any given moment, even if that means binging on Netflix for the 2nd day in a row. 

The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to use this time in quarantine. 

It’s important that if feelings of guilt come up when you are not doing what you ‘should’ to be gentle with yourself. 

Now is the perfect time to practice self love and compassion. It’s one of the great gifts that you can give yourself. You will also be a model for others in doing so. 

We are all so very hard on ourselves and this is revealed by our self-talk. 

Self talk is simply the internal dialogue you have with yourself. 

The best way to combat your ‘shoulds’ is through your self talk. 

There are two kinds of self talk, positive, which is when you think positive things about yourself, others and the world. The opposite is true for negative self talk. 

Here are some steps to help create supportive and empowering self talk. 

1. Create a main self talk mantra for yourself

What does this mean? 

A mantra is simply something that you say over and over to yourself to get into a new or desired state of being. It is helpful if it is something that you can believe in. This is also something that you will be able to change over time, nothing is written in stone. 

‘I got this!’

‘Everything always works out for me’

2. Objectify your thinking

Most of us have an inner dialogue that constantly runs in the background, and we are unaware of it for the most part. Your thoughts create your feelings, in fact, there is a direct correlation. It is important to learn what that default dialogue is. The way to do that is to take 10 minutes or so to be still and just simply ‘witness’ your thoughts or take that time to journal. 

Being present is the best way to uncover our background thinking. 

3. Create an intention to choose positive thoughts

You have the power and the ability to choose how and what you think moment to moment. When you find yourself in a negative loop – pause – and choose thoughts that serve and empower you. You can also set a time every hour or 2 to check in to see what you are thinking.

So let me ask you, 

What are you going to be telling yourself the next time you hear or tell yourself that you ‘should’ be doing x, y or z?

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