If there is one thing you should not feel this lock down is guilty instead you should work on feeling good. I kind of spoke about this recently on an Instagram post and I want to expand on some points I made. I also think after a bank holiday weekend some of these guilty thoughts can creep up on us hence why I am writing this post today.
Guilty is adjective that has a few different interpretations.
It can mean you have committed a wrong doing or a crime.
It can mean you feel unhappy for doing something you think is wrong or you shouldn't have done.
Now the examples of guilt I see with clients and see over social media do not in my opinion fall into these categories. Instead what I see are choices people have made and any negative feelings that come from these choices should be acknowledged and then let go. For example: Eating certain foods or not working out.
Within this lock down there has been a massive boom in everyone's online presence which totally makes sense. It also means that there is so much more information out there and being thrown in our faces whether it is intentional or not. Some of it has good intentions and some of it doesn't.
We are being told to workout more, workout less, learn a new skill, be productive, challenge ourselves, listen to our bodies, do more because we have more time, just chill and relax, eat less, eat what you want ... the list goes on and quite frankly of no help what so ever. All this seems to do is increase this feeling of guilt because you feel that by not following it you are doing something wrong.
Which is why it is time to learn to change your mindset. When you feel guilty about something I want you to do these following steps:
1/ Work out what exactly you are feeling through this guilt - is it shame? Upset? Failure?
2/ Unpick why you feel this way. What made you feel guilty about doing/not doing something? Is it something you personally feel or because someone else has said so.
3/ Then look at the reasons surrounding why you chose to do this before the guilty feeling crept in. Did it make you happy? Did it fit with what you needed to do at the time? Were memories created?
Chances are when you have done the above that feeling of guilt isn't really needed. For example let's say you had planned to workout today but then when it came to it you swapped it for rest. Later on this feeling of guilt creeps in because you didn't workout. Once you do the above thought process you realise that you felt guilty because everyone seems to be working out and you feel you should do too but really your body was tired, you weren't in the best head space and needed the time to chill out and just be you. Because you rested your body feels much better, you caught up on a programme you really wanted to watch and ring a friend to put the world to rights. So really no guilt was needed as you chose not to and it was right for you at that time.
When it comes to our choices surrounding our lifestyle guilt doesn't need to play any part in our feelings unless you have actually done some wrong that hurts you or others around you. How you move, what you eat, how productive you are isn't going to do that.
Now onto what makes us feel good. New routines have started, new ways of working and new ways of living have come into play and yes there might be more time. But there is also more uncertainty, stress, upset and unknown to fit into the equation. So rather than trying to carry on like you used to think about how you can benefit yourself with what you have now. Look at your day to day, how can you fit what makes you feel good into that. Now more than ever we want to be looking after ourselves so what makes you feel good? What benefits your physical health? What benefits your mental well-being? Make a list and fit it in to your new lifestyle in the least stressful way.
For me moving my body, getting outside, eating a balanced diet of foods, watching a programme in the evening, reading, speaking to family and friends and having a glass or 2 of prosecco on a weekend make me feel good. Which is why I make time for all of these within my weekly and day to day routine. But it without pressure and as I answer to no one but myself when it comes to my choices there is no reason to feel guilt.
No one is perfect and those feeling might creep up on us now and then and it's ok if this happens. Acknowledge the feeling, remember why it isn't needed and then move on. We make our choices for a reason, embrace them and end it.
To further make this process about feeling good not guilty remove the triggers. Unfollow accounts that make you feel this way, align your social media with your values and what inspire you. Give yourself breaks, step away and make time for you. You are within your right to do that.
Look at your new way of life and work out what you can do to make it even better. Take each day as it comes and plan your routine accordingly to this and how you feel.
There is enough going on already without blaming ourselves for doing/not doing something that we chose to do. Remove the guilt and start feeling good, you deserve it :)
Love Vicki xxxx