Heather · Musings

The most negative and persistent mental health habit I have

I’ve spent years working on my mental health, but I have one very negative habit that persists. I keep a huge list of everything I should be doing, both in my mind, on my phone, on paper–everywhere. I totally forget about what I want to do. And I forget about what really brings me joy. Sometimes I even forget about what’s really right.

I feel this enormous pressure to homeschool my kids in the right way and I keep making up in my head what the right way should look like. (We do that a lot, don’t we? We make up things that aren’t true, particularly about ideals for our life.)

So today I was looking at how we are doing school and decided we needed to switch things around. I was so caught up in worrying about getting everything done that we weren’t really enjoying ourselves at all.

Instead of thinking how homeschool should look like, I needed to take a step back and ask what we wanted to do, what we would enjoy, and how we could learn the best.

This probably means more baking, educational YouTube videos, Legos, dance parties, exploring outdoors, sand castles, science experiments, Pokemon stories, dinosaur books, and all of that. It means that we spend more time learning about things we want to instead of forcing in worksheets (though we do our like our share of our worksheets). It means that we take a day off when we need it. It means we make homeschooling more of a lifestyle than something we got done every day.

I am trying to stop doing those things that I keep telling myself I should do, but they aren’t enjoyable, necessary, or even helpful to myself or others.

It means that I stop my transcription class (because I have learned that I don’t really like doing it at all). It means that I continue economics (because I love that). It means that I stop blogging on a regular schedule (because no one cares) and I do it when I want to.

It means I say yes more often to my kids. It means I am not too worried if the bathrooms didn’t get clean or the sheets didn’t get washed. It means I wear makeup less. It means we play at a playground. And I try to be a good friend and serve others, even though those efforts are often awkward.

It means I don’t make decisions based on sunk costs, what is popular, or what other people think of me. I don’t strive for ideals that I see on websites. I don’t try to imitate others. I try to listen better to myself and what is really right, not just what I thought I wanted at some point.

It will always be a work in progress. But I want to keep striving to do better and focus on the most important things, and I don’t want the things I should be doing get in the way of that.

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