Walk, Don’t Run

Self care
16 Aug 2023

How many of us are guilty of doing too much? 

Okay, I’ll rephrase that. How many of us are told by others that we try to do too much?

I imagine rather more hands will go up at that second question.

You see, we have different standards for ourselves than we do for other people. We will tell our friends to look after themselves, but we don’t always look after ourselves as well as our friends think we should do.

I’ll come back to that word “guilty.” So many of us feel guilt if we don’t do “enough,” whatever we judge that “enough” to be. 

Over the last few months, I have been forced to rest – and to rethink my views on rest. This last week or so, I have felt much better; better than I have for a year. My immediate thought is to fill the days with more activities; my second thought, to get a job. I feel, if I am well, I should be working.

There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts, but they many be premature. Feeling well for one week is not enough time to celebrate recovery. I also think I should remember the lesson I have learned on rest and not overdo it.

Do you have guilty feelings about not doing enough? If you do not work in some sort of paid employment, do you feel that you should? I know this very much depends on health, age and circumstances, but I keep reading about how the Government needs all those people who retired early to be out earning. We have more jobs than people to fill them and it seems to be our duty to work for the good of our country – almost as it was during the war.

So, I feel guilty for not finding a job.

Guilt is an absolutely wasted emotion, however. Himself hates that word and pulls me up, quite rightly, whenever I use it. Guilt rarely prompts us to action – it just makes us feel bad about inaction, or those repetitive actions we would rather stop. Guilt is not inspiring – which is why it is one of the negative cards in the Moodscope daily test.

The title of this blog is Walk, Don’t Run. If you compare walking to running, we can usually walk for much longer than we can run – marathon runners excepted. If we walk, we still get to our destination, albeit more slowly. We might even get to it faster because we won’t fall by the wayside, exhausted.

So, I am going to take my own advice and the advice of my friends, and take only small steps. I may feel I could do more, but it’s important not to do too much too soon.

I would encourage you too to look at those areas where you may be trying to run when walking would be much wiser.

You know it makes sense.

And don’t feel guilty about it.


A Moodscope member

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