September is back-to-school month. Parents everywhere are jumping up and down that kids can get back to a routine. About one month in, those same parents may be looking back at summer and remembering the lazy, carefree days when they didn’t have to drag their kids to school, scouts, dance and sports.
Even if you don’t have children, your life might pick up speed in the fall months. It might be gearing up for the holidays or just going to football games. Let this serve as your reminder to manage a good balance of work, activities, school, chores and self-care. Take some time this fall to be kind to yourself and really enjoy life.
Stop Competing With and Comparing Yourself to Others
Competition is human nature. There are times when competition can be healthy. Want to get kids off the couch and more active? Have a parent-kid competition. Your kids will try to outdo you. But for many adults, competition can be a huge downfall. When you look at your neighbor and compare your life to them, it can really bring you down. It’s not a fair fight, so to speak. Typically, you’re comparing the best of their life with the worst of yours.
You are too unique to have a fair comparison with anyone else. It can hurt your pride, your drive and your passion. Comparisons focus on the wrong person and rob your joy. Instead, remind yourself that no one is perfect, nor do you have to be. Think about your own successes and the good you’ve done, rather than focusing on what your neighbor does.
Tell the Limiting Voices in Your Head to Shut Up
It’s not easy to reprogram that inner voice that says, “You’re not good enough.” But that voice will keep you from living your fullest life. Unfortunately, that voice can only be quieted by repeatedly telling it to be quiet and replacing it with positive thoughts. If you can’t do that, put on some music, read a book or otherwise distract your mind.
Learn to Prioritize and Say “No”
Having a routine can really help you stay focused but having a too busy routine can run you into the ground. Be kind to yourself this fall. Say no to things that you can’t, won’t or don’t want to do. When you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. Practice setting boundaries on your time. Give yourself downtime in your schedule to focus on your own needs. It’s cliché, but you really can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.
Be Authentic With Your Feelings
Living life behind a mask is tiring. When you hide your emotions, it can hamper relationships. Chances are, you aren’t your true self with everyone. That’s okay. Some people aren’t safe. They don’t deserve authenticity. Find a couple of trusted friends who do offer safety and will let you be you. Be yourself.
Kick Toxic People Out of Your Life
Life is too short to put up with people who drain you. We’re not advocating that you physically kick them, just clear them out of your life. Make room for the people who support you and help you be your best. Learn to ignore the boors and jerks at work who make your life difficult.
Take a Risk
Risk-taking can take your life to a new place. No, we’re not talking about skydiving or jumping off a cliff. We’re talking about doing something that is out of the ordinary for you. Get out of your rut. Risk can pump adrenaline through your body, which will make you feel alive. Don’t be reckless. Be adventurous. Stretch yourself emotionally. You’ll learn more about yourself and (hopefully) have some fun doing it.