February 21, 2024

The Real Reason we’re all So Damn Stressed Out.

 

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It irks me whenever I hear anyone say, “There are 24 useable hours in every day.”

Yes, there are obviously 24 hours in each day. But do we really need to fill every one of them with something useful?

And who gets to decide what counts as useful?

My days have been looking a little different than what I would consider my “normal.” Normal being that I often have every moment of my day planned out, from when I wake up to when I start work, to when I take breaks and eat and work out and, finally, allow myself some downtime at night to watch TV.

Lately, though, planning has slowly drifted out the window. I’m aware of my to-do list, of all the tasks I need to check off, of all the expectations that have been placed on me (and that I’ve placed on myself). But my motivation to complete any of these tasks—to fill each hour of the day with something useful—has been trumped by a desire to rest.

To slow down. To give myself a break. To do a whole lot of nothing. To let myself be bored. To not allow the constant, daily stress of busyness to be what drives me—or what drives me nuts.

Last night, as I crawled into bed and pulled the covers over me at 9:30, I came across this Reel from musician Anayka She that perfectly explains why we’re all so damn stressed out these days.

Her message at the end is exactly what I’ll be reminding myself every morning:

 

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“So I’m supposed to deep condition my hair every two weeks, make sure I’m getting a trim, worry about my gut health, take more fiber than I thought initially, eat a well-rounded diet but don’t restrict myself from the things that I like to eat, have a social life, not forget to call my parents just because I moved out, have a hobby outside the things that pay me, know about every single world crisis going on, have a thorough but concise skin care routine that I do ritually, invest and save money but don’t skip out on the adventures of life, do my taxes accurately and on time, vote but not for him, recycle even though the planet is about to be irreversibly damaged, and that’s not even half. 

There is no way there…I just don’t even believe. There is no way that any of you are doing all of that. There is no way—that is not even humanly possible. And I feel like that’s the standard that media has set. 

Girl, if you bathe today, take a bow. Take a round of applause. You did it, you know what I mean? Like, I can’t do all this.”
~

Goodness. Just reading that spiked my anxiety.

And as many readers pointed out, she didn’t even mention doing all this while being in a relationship, caring for pets, or raising children. Because there’s just no way to do everything while doing it well and consistently and not completely burning out.

We’re only human.

Here are a few mindful comments from her post:

“Like I can barely eat my 3 meals a day, one task at a time PLEASE.” ~ whyarentyoustanning

“Exactly. Do what you can. I like to do 50% for me 50% for others, and that includes the planet. Either every day or every week depending on where I am in life. But everything just isn’t gonna happen. Prioritize how you can.” ~ pshhheeewww

“The reality is that we just tryna make it day by day. We gotta give each other grace and inspire one another.” ~ iramasartroom

“The rest of the animal kingdom gets by to eat, sleep and f*ck while we invent more hardships for ourselves.” ~ pinkcookiesnaplastikbag

“Exactly!! And for so much to be going on you would think we would have more grace. But no, everyone is merciless toward one another. No one likes to acknowledge that we’re all trying our best.” ~ kerithemerisol

“How?!? This is the truest breakdown of how life is trying to give me a breakdown. Thank you.” ~ nicoleallisondalton

~

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