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Self-Care Practices for Overachievers

Written by Salli, the founder of Mindful Every Day


If I had to choose one characteristic of mine that I've had to work on the most (and the work still continues), it would be overachieving.


Ever since I was a child, I've held extremely high standards for myself. My mentality has often been that if I can't do something perfectly, I won't do it at all. And, of course, this causes many problems, such as stress and lack of joy in what I do.


Practicing yoga, mindfulness, and self-care have been absolute lifesavers for me. That's why I wanted to write some tips for other overachievers, based on my experience working on this mentality through self-care.

A drawing of a person sipping coffee and taking it easy, looking happy and relaxed.

Practicing Mindfulness


Learning to be present in the moment through mindfulness significantly helps challenge the toxic thought patterns associated with overachieving. When we are truly present and see what is happening at this moment, we more easily recognize how unreasonable and unrealistic our demands for ourselves can be.


Mindfulness also gently encourages pausing, which is a crucial skill for an overachiever who always feels rushed. When I'm in an overachiever mode, I always rush to the next task and feel like I need to do more. By pausing and being present in what you're doing, the quality of the doing improves significantly, and joy returns to it.


Taking Care of the Body


This can mean very different things to different people. If one's overachieving is focused on sports, going for a brisk run might not necessarily be the best option. Instead, gentle yin yoga or a warm bath could be a better choice there. If overachieving involves working hours in front of a computer screen, that run might not be such a bad idea.


The key is not to neglect the needs and well-being of our bodies. If our bodies aren't well, neither is our mind.


Journaling


Journaling is an excellent way to practice self-reflection. Writing down our feelings and thoughts brings our inner world into our consciousness. Journaling can reveal harmful beliefs to us, which we can then challenge and work through.


I've sometimes kept a journal simply of everything I've done. I did this because one of my harmful beliefs about overachieving is that 'I never do enough.' When I've put things down on paper and seen concretely all that I've accomplished, it's been easier to give myself permission to relax.


Practicing Self-Compassion


The last and most important point in this subject (for me, at least) is practicing self-compassion. Self-compassion is the foundation of all healing, and overachieving is no exception.


A loving, compassionate attitude towards ourselves helps us see that we are valuable and worthy of love regardless of what or how much we do. Ultimately, that's what overachieving is mostly about, the feeling of not being worthy as we are.


So, how can you practice self-compassion? Here are some practical ways, in my opinion:


  • Taking care of yourself. This brings us back to the original topic of the writing, but taking good care of yourself is one of the most important factors in cultivating self-compassion.

  • Setting clear and realistic goals.

  • Recognizing, acknowledging, and celebrating your own successes.

  • Practicing self-forgiveness.

  • Recognizing your own boundaries.

  • Nurturing healthy and loving relationships.

  • Nurturing your own interests and doing things that bring you joy.


These are some tips based on my own personal experience. If you have any other experiences related to overachieving, please share them in the comments!


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