Feeling guilty for not doing what you think you should be doing?
Getting stressed about the things that have to get done? Getting rather overwhelmed with that ‘to do’ list?
Last week I found myself getting really anxious. The voice in my head got louder, worrying about how I’d find the time to get all my work done in time for the looming deadlines. I was feeling guilty, with tension rising from my gut and my chest tightened. I started to feel really down. All this important stuff to do and here I was swanning around on the back of a motorbike in Yorkshire for 5 days…really!? What was I thinking??
Clinical case studies yet to finish and a final assignment deadline approaching fast. And the exam! What about the exam!
All this to be done in the next few weeks to complete my 3 year diploma….so what was I doing here?!
It was my aunt’s 80th over the bank holiday and Paul and I decided to make a road trip of it…on his motorbike…
The weather forecast was looking promising so we decided to go or it, packing our waterproofs just in case!
Why was I feeling guilty?
Now as a pillion on a motorbike there’s not a great deal to do… lean to the left or right at the correct times, don’t fall asleep and hold on tight! There’s plenty of time for thinking…oh and singing…badly, which I do rather well…as no one can hear you, except at traffic lights…that can be embarrassing….
We coasted along the winding country roads, looking over hedgerows and across expanses of green rolling hills, purple heather and sheep…millions of sheep! Well definitely a thousand or so – I’ve never seen so many sheep in one place!?
I’d intentionally look out at this impressive landscape trying to memorise it and take in all its glory.
But I found I had to keep bringing myself back to where I was. My mind kept wandering off to my ‘to do’ list and the feelings of guilt arose. I started telling myself ‘I shouldn’t be doing this? What was I thinking? I’ve too much to do to be just having fun!‘
How I stopped feeling guilty
I had to pull myself back from these thoughts. I had to tell myself that I’d chosen to take this time off to be with family and my partner; that this had been an opportune time to take advantage of seeing beautiful parts of the UK I’d never seen ; that life is uncertain and if we don’t take these opportunities to enjoy it, we’re missing out.
It took a while but I managed to stop listening to the worrying voice I my head and chose to become focused on where I was…being more mindful of where I was…in that precise moment. A 51 year old woman, on a motorbike, whizzing through the most beautiful parts of the UK…in the sun! FFS! What could be wrong with that?
I managed to shut that voice out of my head and replaced it with feelings of gratitude…why be here and not enjoy every moment of it….how lucky was I?
My spirit lifted as I let the guilt go and the gratitude in…
How you can stop feeling guilty
Sometimes we have to take ourselves away from the ‘to do’ list and indulge ourselves in doing something just for the sheer fun of it. Our spirit requires nourishing as much as our bodies. We need to do things we enjoy to feed our spirt and increase our gratitude for the life we have – life’s not all about getting endless stuff done.
When was the last time you took yourself out on a ‘date’? That is, spent time with yourself doing something you really enjoyed; something not on your ‘to do’ list? It doesn’t have to take a few days. Why not take an hour to maybe simply going for walk in the park or to an exhibition, even read a book in that lovely café you often pass and promise you’ll pop in sometime..
Go and do something for you…you’ll love yourself more for it and feel happier for sure!
I’d love to hear if you do take yourself off to nourish your spirit and if you do feel happier. Please do let me know below!
Photo by me: the stunning purple heather on the Yorkshire Moors