Self compassion

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.

4 thoughts on “Self compassion

  1. Sorry for the late response. Like yourself, work comes and goes in phases. School is back in full flow and it almost seems as if I was never off. Learning to say no is important… Burn out can creep up on you so easily that, once it’s there, it’s almost too late. Interestingly, you are worried that you may not have enough to do once you have postponed your course…. Believe me that will certainly not be the case. Just be careful not to take on the ‘hidden’ tasks and activities. Going to the gym is good. Your health is something that you have written about quite often. Being able to focus a little on training and food consumption will be effective in recharging and focusing your mind. Sadly, with the onset of winter comes the dark, dark nights.. Keep up the great work. I have noticed a change in your writing 😁

    • Thanks! A good change or a bad change? 😆 Yep, I already realising I’m not stuck for things to do, and focusing on health actually takes more time than I expected, though not in a bad way. Happily I don’t mind the dark nights – sleep much better when it’s really dark – so that’s good.

  2. Good life choices 😀
    As Zamo said just say NO even if just once or twice.
    Taking control of your time will certainly help the stress
    Academic world can wait hope you get the deferral

    • Zamo, there’s a blast from the past 🤣 Yeah, it feels like a bit of a weight off having made the decision. I think that’s why I slept a bit better last night for once!

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