I’m not particularly good at saying no. To say no inevitably means letting someone down, or disappointing them, and I guess I’m probably a bit of a people pleaser, so I say yes, even when I don’t want to. Life gets busy and complicated at times though, and to save our sanity, we have to learn to say no. To me this is self-compassion: learning to put yourself first when you need to.
I love my new job, and my new life back in Scotland, but for sure it’s challenging and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do as good a job as I want to. Stress levels have been rising, as I hate feeling like I’m just fire fighting all the time, and not keeping on top of things. So a few extra evenings/weekends of catching up will get me back on track which is fine, but not something I want to make a habit of. I’ve recently started saying no to taking on extra work though, as I just cannot manage it. Normally I’d feel inadequate, like I should be able to cope, but actually that’s bullshit. We all have limits, and recognising this is a good thing, not a bad thing.
On that note, I’ve gone back and forth weekly if not daily about the studying that I’ve been doing. I’ve completed 2 out of the 3 required courses to gain a Masters in Global Challenges, and the one I have left to do is actually the one I’m most interested in (it’s about environmental challenges). I’m due to start it in 10 days and yesterday I just felt so overwhelmed with everything that after a bit of a panic, I called the Uni and asked if I can take a year break. There is a time limit to completing the course, and if I don’t study this year, taking the course over two years (so part-time study), I’d have to do it next year over one academic year. Which is worse. More pressure.
So I’ve applied for an authorised year of interrupted study, meaning I do nothing for the next year, and the final two-year cycle will start September 2020. Even if they say no, I’ve made my mind up not to study this year. Sometimes saying no to myself, and recognising I take on too much at once is even harder than saying no to others. I still have a slight worry that I’ll have fuck all to do over winter, but actually I will now have time to focus on what matters – getting a good job done at work, and looking after myself, health and fitness wise. Sorting my shit out health wise is more important to me than getting another degree I don’t even really need (just want), so I know I’ve made the right decision.
A month or so ago I signed up to the Centr app which has daily training sessions, meditations and meal plans. I’m mostly just using the training (which I can do at home) and meditation, and I make my own low carb food, but I’m really loving it. There’s a closed Facebook group to go with it, and I can honestly say it’s the most supportive group, which makes a big difference. So having time to focus on that will be the benefit of canning my studies for a while. I’m thinking of joining a local gym too, which means I can put my spare time to better use. Definitely feels like the right decision.