How To Relax

The silliest title to a blog post that I’ve ever written. But – for some of us overachievers, very important to know!! Relaxing is not always something that comes naturally to us in today’s world. We’re used to going full speed ahead, being efficient, and getting it done, always thinking about the next project. We’re not so used to taking time for ourselves and chilling out.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to relax and remember these tips. They’re not intuitive when your mind is always on the go!

  • Clear your mind. This means leave your work at work and put your commitments aside. Relaxing is not going to do any good if your mind is still going over your to do list. Nothing productive comes from obsessing over what needs to be done or dwelling on your problems. When it’s time to relax, put all of that thinking aside and clear your mind of the clutter.
  • Find what you love to do and do it, no matter what anyone else says. We don’t have TV at home, so Hulu is a treat to me. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy when instead of getting extra sleep, I want to watch an episode of Project Runway. Although it seems counter-intuitive to him that watching TV would actually relax me, I swear it does. For those 44 precious minutes I don’t have to think about anything except for Heidi Klum. So I do it!
  • Schedule it in. You know how I often give a tip that I myself have to work on including in my life? This one is it. It is so important to make relaxing a priority in your life – self-care is something that should always be at the top of your list, to avoid getting sick and being unhappy.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it’s to really take to heart the importance of relaxing. Even if you take just an hour a week… it’s so important. And keep these tips in mind! Your body and mind will thank you!


I Am an Overachiever

I’ve never identified myself as an overachiever. I would definitely describe myself as driven, motivated, goal oriented, and even a little Type A – but not an overachiever.

Until I read 5 Mistakes That Cause Overachievers to Fail by Jennifer Gresham on Everyday Bright.

Unfortunately, I’m becoming very familiar with these failures Jennifer references in this post. Too familiar. And I would venture to guess that many nonprofit staffers feel the same – we’re all passionate people or we wouldn’t be in this field. When does passion go too far?

I have been incredibly stressed out lately. Yes, I’ve had a lot of life changes in the past few months – moving, new job, new grad school program… but still, something more has been tugging at me. Something beyond the usual nerves of something new. Something more substantial.

I read this post and realized – that’s it. I’m an overachiever. My overachiever self is going crazy trying to balance all these new parts of my life and do them all perfectly.

I’m spending a lot of time worrying about what others think. I want to impress my colleagues, look smart to my cohort/professor, and fit in perfectly with my new community. I want to be the perfect employee, friend, and girlfriend. I want to achieve perfection in every aspect of my life.

Instead of inspiring me, these goals are causing me to be anxious almost all of the time. I’m worried about balancing it all and being perfect all at the same time. I’ve realized I’ve become obsessed with this idea of being good at everything. Not just good – great.

When I had just one or two things going on, it was doable. I would say I was a pretty great employee and girlfriend back where we used to live. But now we’ve moved and I’ve added on student and family member… with a brand new job that demands more… and less time to be a great girlfriend… clearly, my perfectionist self is in overdrive. How can I make this happen??

I can’t.

What I can make happen is doing the best I can at everything I do. And knowing that’s good enough.

It’s better than good enough – it’s perfect.