On Guilt, Defining Progress and Self-Care…

2021, for me, was a year of high highs and low lows. Definitely a mixed bag. I met so many goals in both my professional and personal life but I was also burdened with a lot of challenges that I had to fight extremely hard to overcome. When I thought I was almost at the finish line — the year was almost over and I could “reset” — I got COVID. I literally got it 3 days after my last work commitment for the year.

In the last few months of the year, work was so chaotic, all I looked forward to was my 3 weeks of rest before the new year began and I would be back to conquering my goals for 2022. COVID gave me exactly what I asked for. I was plagued with such horrible fatigue for weeks, all I could do was rest. The blessing in disguise was it forced me to rest and reflect.

As a single mother, running a business, I had time to reflect on how much guilt plagued me on a day to day basis. Wanting to succeed but always feeling that there was always a cost I would have to pay to be successful. I’m sure a lot of single “mompreneurs” can relate. I realised that I had to change the narrative in my head moving forward. The guilt took away from me being able to fully appreciate all the progress I was making. I had to redefine what progress, success and self-care would be for me in order to maintain a healthy balance.

I wrote a few things down:

  • Do not measure my progress by comparing myself to others. We are on our own individual journeys. I wrote down what success and progress meant for ME.
  • Be intentional about my self-care — for me, this meant making a list of the activities/things/people that bring me joy and uplift me. Something I can refer to when guilt settles in or I am overwhelmed.
  • Set healthy boundaries — with friends, family and work contacts.
  • Listen to my body and rest. Rest is essential to productivity and health.
  • Move my body for 20mins at least 3 times a week.
  • Try out the 4 day work week for 4 months. If it improves my quality of life, stick to it.

Let’s see how this goes. I’m ready to conquer 2022.

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