Take five minutes away from some other activity or obligation and sit quietly with a cup of tea, gaze out a window, let the water from the shower spray against your neck muscles, do a few stretches, read a page in a book, so to give yourself a small pocket of time to rejuvenate.
Thinking that you have to do something breeds resentment. You may find yourself forgetting to attend events or gatherings that you’ve told yourself you have to attend. Suddenly, cleaning your refrigerator is the most interesting and important task to handle. Whoops. What did you forget to do?
Rethinking an obligation as a task that you choose to do can reframe the experience. Sometimes, just thinking of something as a choice can make a huge difference to your attitude and your energy.
For example, “I have to go to work today so I can pay my bills,” versus “I choose to go to work today so I can have electricity.”
What do you think? I’ve seen this suggestion in numerous books by psychologists and life coaches. Although I may not like what I’m doing, this change of phrasing does make me realize that I could choose to bow out of an obligation and deal with the repercussions.
Is there something on your calendar that you aren’t excited about and that, honestly, you could step away from? It may be awkward to say to someone, “it turns out that I won’t be able to attend. Thanks so much for thinking of me.” Or, this could be some self-imposed event – even decluttering your closet or kitchen cabinets this weekend.
If you can clear the time, what will you do?
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.