Have you ever tried to enjoy some time away from your daily obligations only to feel guilty for doing so? If you have, you’re not alone. Plenty of people feel guilty when they try to take a moment off to relax, even after working all day on something. And while this might say something positive about your work ethic, it can have bad consequences for your stress levels.
The next time you feel this unnecessary guilt, remember these five techniques for dealing with it. First, recognize your tendencies. You’ll have a tough time addressing your guilt if you don’t first notice that it is occurring. If you detect that you feel a blunt sense of anxiety or tension when you’re trying to get away from your obligations and relax, try paying closer attention to the experience. Is this really guilt? Is it perhaps boredom? Second, consider why you feel guilty. Do you have something important to finish that other people are relying on, which might justify the guilt? Or do you just feel like you should always be working? Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, do a priorities audit. Many of us get socialized into thinking that external measures of success are of primary importance, but the time you take for yourself is equally important in building a successful life. Think about and write down your life priorities and consider how your leisure time helps you achieve them. The next thing you need to do is acknowledge that you deserve to enjoy some time off. Be a little selfish and boost your own well-being. After all, this is your life. Lastly, recognize that you’re getting better at your tasks. When you use your leisure time effectively, you’ll see your ability to perform well will skyrocket.