Don't 'Should' On Yourself
Last updated: February 2021
We are all faced with things that come up in our lives. Some are fun and some are unpleasant. Many times these are things we feel we need to do and we put a lot of stress on ourselves to get them done, attempt to get them done, or just keep them on our minds as we ‘should’ get them done. My argument is if you haven’t done it yet, is it really that important? Should you keep it on your 'I should get that done' list? In other words, should we keep 'shouding' on ourselves?
What's really important?
Many of us need to take an inventory of our lives and what’s really important. When something is important, we tend to get it done and move forward on whatever it is - even if we don’t want to. For everything else, it is just ‘shoulds’ and we need to stop ‘shoulding’ on ourselves!
I was recently part of a weekly meet-up. My functional doctor holds them each week via Zoom to help her clients get through the pandemic. During our last meeting, someone brought up how many of us ‘should’ on ourselves. I really thought about this, because I do it all the time. Truthfully, the ‘shoulds’ just weigh me down. There are more fun things I want to do, but I should clean the house, or I should make that phone call, or I should finish that work. Instead of saying, 'I should', I need to take action and get it done. Then it’s off my mind, off my plate, and I can get to the fun stuff I really want to do.
Getting it done
A long time ago, I learned you should only touch papers on your desk once. As soon as you pick it up it should be attended to. Then it’s done and you can move on to the next thing without the stress of still having to deal with the first matter - sounds good in theory. The truth is, we procrastinate all the time and it causes us stress. When you have cancer, stress is not a friend. Both my daughter and my sister-in-law feel their cancer was, at least in part, related to the stress they were dealing with in their lives. If we can eliminate some of that stress, we should try.
Let’s rid ourselves of the “shoulds”
Getting rid of the ‘shoulds’ in our lives is difficult - there is always so much we have to do and so little time. I think if we start to focus on what’s really important and get those things done as soon as possible, we can diminish the ‘shoulds’ and get to ‘done with that’. Truthfully, the feeling of being done with something really does feel like a heavy load has been lifted. So if it feels good to accomplish things, why do we keep ‘shoulding’ on ourselves. I think it’s to put off what we really don’t want to do. The reality is, we are probably going to have to do it, so just get it over with and decrease the stress of having to think about it, look at it, or move it around your desk again. It will be done and that feeling will be wonderful!
So for all of us that keep ‘shoulding’ on ourselves, let’s make it a goal to accomplish at least one of the things that is on our plate today. After you are finished with that, write a schedule as to when you will remove other ‘to do’ things so your plate will be empty and your stress level down. You will feel better and then you can attend to the things you really want to do with a clear mind that is totally in the moment without anything else weighing it down.
Wishing you health and happiness!
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