This post brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Life On Virginia Street.
I recently posted about starting some business and career conversations and shared the Inner Voice Interview about women and their inner critic. When my life is running wild, I’ve also noticed that’s when my inner critic grows and becomes stronger. I’ve found that if I consistently work on the following items, I am much less likely to feel anxious and stressed, which in turn helps battle that inner critic.
Have a To-Do List & Desk Calendar
We all have crazy busy lives and sometimes it can feel impossible to keep up. I used to think it was okay to rely solely upon my memory to ensure I was completing tasks on-time. But, as I did that, I found that I was more anxious and feeling stressed. Birthday cards were being mailed late, necessary tasks weren’t getting completed, and deadlines were being missed. Over the past two years, I’ve been diligent about keeping a desk calendar and to-do list up to date! It makes me feel so much better mentally when I can see everything I need to do in one location. This helps build my confidence in knowing that I won’t miss important dates and deadlines. There is nothing more rewarding that being able to cross items off a to-do list!
This is something I really struggle with. But I know when I work out regularly, not only am I in better shape and much healthier, but I feel more confident. This can be so important in helping to fight that inner critic.
Make Time for Well-Rounded Meals
Guys, this is so tough for us, but it makes a world of difference. If we take the time to make a meal plan for the week and then grocery shop once on the weekend, we do such a better job of eating at home. It has made such a difference for us of the past four months or so. I think I’ve eaten more vegetables in the past four months than I had in the year prior! It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating healthy, it just always feels like such a hassle. But, when you take a little extra time to prep, eating healthy can be a breeze. When you’re fueling your body with the nutrients it needs, you feel better in general and ultimately feel better about yourself!
Block Time to Accomplish Certain Tasks
This is something I’ve really had to focus on the past two years. Between my day job, the blog, our rentals, and simply life in general, I have to force myself at times to complete necessary tasks that I don’t really want to do. I’ve found that if I block periods of time on my calendar when I do nothing but focus on a particular task, I am so much more efficient and effective. This means silencing alerts and notifications on my phone, closing down social media, and eliminating other distractions so that I can really focus on what needs to be accomplished. Not only will it take you about half the time to complete when distractions are eliminated, but you’ll have done a better job because your focus levels are increased. You’ll be much more proud of your work when you know it’s your best effort!
Make Sleep a Priority
Two things are certain. If I’m hungry or if I’m tired, I am not a good person to be around. I become irritable and don’t function at full capacity. Regardless of how much I have on my to-do list, sleep has to be a priority for me. I need at least eight hours a night, but whatever your magic number is, make it a priority. When you’re well-rested, you’re likely to be more positive, get more done in a day, and ultimately feel better about yourself and your actions.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
I am perpetually a positive and optimistic person. Obviously I have my bad days/hours/minutes, but I find that when I make an effort to be content, I actually am. This is due in part because I also try to surround myself with positive people. Negativity can be toxic and the more you’re around it, the more you’ll begin to doubt your self-worth and value. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to have a tight circle of other women (and men) in the business world as well as in my personal life. Many are even my direct competitors. However, we help lift one another up, and I know that I can go to these people with questions and problems, and they will give me their honest feedback. We all know this world is big enough for us to all be successful, and we want nothing but the best for each other. The same could be said for relationships in our personal lives. Surround yourself with the best, continue to encourage and uplift others, and you will feel your best.
Know That Nobody Is ‘Doing It All’
So many of you commented on my last post about this topic asking me how I make time for it all. The easy answer is, I don’t. This is a side of blogging I really struggle with, because I don’t ever want anyone to think that my life is perfect or that I have it all together. Social media all-too-often can cause readers and followers to assume the influencer has it all together. Feelings of inadequacy can creep in and it’s too easy to feel like we’re not doing enough / wearing the right clothes / cleaning our house frequently enough, etc. But please know, most influencers only share part of their lives that they believe their readers want to read about. This means all the fun, flashy, pretty details of their lives. Typically, it’s never done to deceive, but rather to inspire. But unfortunately, it can also cause feelings of discontent and inadequate. If you want to feel better when you feel like your house is a mess, read my Real Life Home Tour and you’ll know that we all have these same battles regardless of what you seen in the pretty pictures. The key to keeping the inner critic at bay and also not be so hard on yourself is to identify your weaknesses, outsource if possible, and then focus on your strengths!
I, for example, hate cleaning my house more than anything. I truly believe my time is better spent elsewhere especially for a task I despise so much, so I allocate resources to have a house cleaner come in once a week. Yes, some may judge that I can’t keep up or I’m being lazy with household chores, but for me, it’s worth every penny we spend and I look forward to every Thursday afternoon having a clean house! Keep in mind I also have an amazing assistant that helps me with blog tasks, I rarely cook, and I don’t do Kurtis’ laundry. These are just a few of my many flaws, and ones that I’ve totally learned to accept and embrace!
Again, nobody is doing it all! They’re likely just focusing on their strengths and finding ways to manage their weaknesses. I promise you’ll be much happier in the long-run accepting your weaknesses for what they are and moving on! At the end of the day, most women know deep down that they can complete anything they set their minds to. It’s so important to tap into that inner confidence and really embrace your strengths.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Do you have any other tips you want to share? I’d love to hear your input!
Thank you to Activia for sponsoring today’s post and for encouraging women and this conversation!
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