It is often communicated that we need to be the best – the best parent, the best colleague, the best employee etc. and nothing less is seen as acceptable. With these unrealistic expectations put on us anxiety levels continue to increase.
“Our days are filled to the max, and before we know it the little things seem to slip past us,” explains Bronwyn Ragavan, brand manager for Personal Touch. She goes on to explain that while we are trying to be the best at everything, we are not taking the time to be present in the moment and enjoy it. This is when our lives become more about the big picture and not about the details.
According to clinical psychologist Jeff Szymanski, cited in the Harvard Health article Trying to be perfect can cause anxiety, when we struggle with perfection, we trigger a cascade of anxieties. Prioritising and simplifying what we need to do and knowing what we would like to achieve, helps to determine what is important.
“Often simplifying our lives can provide us with more opportunities during the day to focus on what matters, and achieve an experience, instead of a goal,” explains Ragavan.
The following five “life-simplifying” techniques can help to add an extra moment or two to your day:
Every day make a list of four to five things that you need to prioritise and focus on. By doing this you are giving yourself a target, knowing that nothing else is as important for that day. This list technique can be used in both your home life and your work life.
Simplify your home tasks. There is no use is making things more complicated for yourself, so start with little things – easy recipes, teach your children to tidy as they go and incorporate easier household tasks. Using Personal Touch Washing Powder Sheets when doing your washing will help simplify your laundry – one sheet = one load. No measuring, no messing, and no searching for space to store it. These few extra minutes could mean a cup of tea you didn’t think you had the time for. Plus, you will lessening your environmental footprint as this innovative product contains 64% less plastic than an ordinary 2kg bag of washing powder.
Limit your screen time. Television, social media and the internet provide false expectations of what life should be, and if you are already feeling anxious rather distance and remind yourself that nothing is as it is seen on a screen.
Decide on what you can do the night before that will help give you more time the next day. Prepare school lunches, put out your clothes, decide on dinner and create tomorrows to do list are all activities that can be done during the calm of the evening, and save you time the next day.
When you are feeling anxious mess can make it worse. Remember to keep your home, desk and as decluttered as possible. You need an environment where you can think clearly without being distracted and feeling overwhelmed.
Simple tricks can be added slowly to your daily routine to help with the anxiety that comes from feeling as though you can’t get through everything. Ragavan suggests that you should do what makes you feel comfortable, and every now and again say to yourself ‘forget about it’ and take some time out for yourself. Take a deep breath, and it will be all right.