Doctor Pressure: 4 ways to go easy on yourself and still get shit done



How is it July already?! More than half way through the year and already so much has happened. Firstly, I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost five months (my bad!) but in my defence, I've changed job and country, so it's safe to say that I've been somewhat preoccupied.

I'm back in the UK, Manchester to be exact, and loving it so far, but getting to this stage wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't quick. I left Berlin in March, moved back in with my parents for almost two months and only ever got out of the foetal position to eat the contents of my parents' fridge. Using my parents' house as a kind of "life rehab", I shut myself off from the world for a while and took time to re-group, recover, figure out what it is I wanted and generally get my shit together a little bit. 

Returning from the glittering promise of the life I worked hard to achieve in Berlin, I felt embarrassed, defeated, and a bit lost. It wasn't what I expected, it wasn't the life I wanted and when you have your mind set on something for so long and then it turns out to not be what you thought it was... it can leave you a little bewildered.
 I'm my own worst enemy, I am hard on myself and mercilessly beat myself up over the smallest mishaps. But this time, instead of convincing myself that happiness and success might just not be in my future, I took it easy for a while. I took stock of my successes, I realised that my life really wasn't that bad, that I'd actually had a pretty good life so far and I'd achieved quite a bit. And so, I dusted myself off and launched myself back into the world. How did I do that? How did I train my mind to change tracks like that? How do people "take it easy" and yet still grab life by the balls? Well I can only tell you how I did it and hope it helps someone in some way. Let's do this. 





A Support Network
I'll try my best to not let this post to get too soppy and sentimental, but there's no way I'd be where I am or who I am without the people I have around me. Whether it's your friends, your family or your colleagues, the ones who really matter will be there for you in your time of need. Getting an outsider's point of view on whatever situation you're in can shift your focus and make you see things in a new light. If, like me, you get way too deep into your own head, then seek the opinions of others. You might not agree with what they have to say, but you'll at least see it from a new perspective. 

When you're down and don't feel like socialising, train yourself to snap out of it. I've recently started to get major dread, anxiety even, before nights out. Whether it's when I'm getting ready or when I'm already on my way, I'll be trying to talk myself out of it and racking my brains for an excuse not to go. Thankfully, this is starting to fade. I'm now able to encourage myself to go out and have positive human interactions. This just seems so obvious when I'm typing this but it really is something that's only just occurred to me. Try it, put your phone on airplane mode, close Netflix, go out and speak to people IRL. You'll feel so much better afterwards.




Patience 
This is the hardest one for me. "Impatient" doesn't quite cover it, it's not that I don't have much patience, it's that I completely lack patience. I'm an impatient, ambitious millennial, I want everything and I want it NOW. Aren't I just the worst? 

Don't get me wrong, I'm still impatient and probably always will be, but I've got so much better over the past year or so. I think we're all guilty of putting way too much pressure on ourselves, each other, and onto situations, and that's a tough habit to kick. But not everyone succeeds at the same pace, not everyone hits their stride at the same age. At 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer. At 30, Harrison Ford was still a carpenter. The late great Alan Rickman quit his graphic design job to pursue acting at the age of 42! 

I'm slowly but surely learning to take great comfort in the knowledge that the universe is quietly doing its thing in the background and that everything I want is coming. I may not know when, but a repeated reassurance that everything has a way of falling into place is good enough for me... for now. 



Confidence (with a hint of delusion) 
This (rather tenuously) leads me to this next point. Having the confidence that everything is going to work out, the arrogance that you'll be fine and the delusion that everything is going to be ok. Except, it actually will... things do just have a way of shaking themselves out. 

Once your support network has reassured you and you've started to build the patience to wait for everything to come your way, now you need the confidence that all of that shit is actually true. This takes a small level of delusion but it will eventually be justified - I promise!  



Recognising your own uniqueness 
Ok this bit sounds really "self-helpy" I know, but it's probably the most important part. You are the only you on Earth, isn't that just ever so slightly amazing? I think it is. Billions of creatures on this rock and yet each and every one of us is unique. And if, like me, you don't believe in reincarnation, then you believe that we're all here only once. So for that reason, please, never compare yourself to anyone else, never covet what someone else has and if you're unhappy in a job, a relationship, a city or town then get the fuck out of it. Life's too short to be unhappy, to be jealous, to be resentful or to live in regret. 

If something amazing happens to someone else, or if someone takes an opportunity away from you, rather than thinking "Why has that happened to them and not me?" instead think "If it can happen for them, it can happen for me because I'm just as good." Have enough respect for yourself to know that you deserve the best, you deserve everything you want. 

Mark Twain once said "Comparison is the death of joy" and I don't think I've read truer words. Run your own race, focus on what makes you happy and not what will make you seem happy to other people. Go easy on yourself, and get shit done. 



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