Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I'm bored, and I hate it. I hate having nothing on my to-do list that's productive to do. I've been on holidays now from university for a week and a half. I've got my haircut, been to the doctor's, got my car fixed, moved into my brother's old room, cleaned, baked, went grocery shopping, went window shopping, played The Sims 3, and socialised.

I have a long list of other things to do but most of them are exercise related, and it's supposed to be a rest day. I don't actually feel like having one, but I didn't have one for the entirety of last week and last night at kickboxing I was feeling kind of unfit and almost overtrained, and when I got home my shin hurt.
I feel good today but I'm taking last night as a sign to rest up... but I feel guilty for it, ugh! I'm not sure it's eating disorder related though - I think it's perfectionism related.

I was reading a blog the other day where someone talked about perfectionism and I looked up the exact definition on Wikipedia and the entire thing describes me, to a T!:

Particularly these points:
"people who strain compulsively and unremittingly toward impossible goals and who measure their own worth entirely in terms of productivity and accomplishment"

procrastination, fear of failure, the all-or-nothing mindset

Perfectionists can suffer anxiety and low self-esteem. Perfectionism is a risk factor for obsessive compulsive personality disordereating disorderssocial anxietysocial phobiabody dysmorphic disorderworkaholismself harm, and clinical depression as well as physical problems like chronic stress, and heart disease 
<--- hello! Personally suffered from low-self esteem, eating disorders, social anxiety AND depression in the past.

It's interesting, reading that made me wonder if I'm actually able to relax properly, the way a "normal" person might. The first day of my uni holidays I was all over the house, unable to relax, couldn't sit still, and was mad that I slept in (7.30 am). "I've wasted half the day!" I said to my mum. So what? It's not like I needed to be anywhere, or really had to do anything.

Then I tried to "drag out" the things on my to do list that I needed done over my four month break. (Isn't that a ridiculously long break?) But it's been a week and I've done 90% of them already. I feel lost without things on a to-do list that must be done, especially on a rest day. This is how I felt on Sunday until I went for my run, then I felt infinitely better, because I had DONE something, I had achieved something for the day - I had worked out.

I feel horribly guilty if I go one day where I haven't achieved anything at all. Why can't I just spend a day relaxing, watching TV, reading and doing absolutely nothing without it just being a chilled out affair?????? THAT makes me mad.

I look at my to-do list daily to try and find something new and productive to do, but all that's actually on it now is lazy stuff like "sort out pile of magazines" and "read a book" (or exercise related ideas).

I'm one of those people that simply could not go on a holiday where the idea is to chill out by the pool and tan. I would seriously go crazy. I need to be doing something all the time, busy, seeing the world.

To give an example, here are the lists I currently have (just the ones stored on my computer / blog):
Study schedule
Things to do on 4 month break
Things to do today
Things to do this week
101 goals in 1001 days
November goals
Stuff to bake
Stuff to blog
Stuff to buy.

I imagine I'm not alone in this, though. I imagine most people who have suffered an eating disorder, depression or anxiety in the past probably feel similar. 

The question is, how do you change this thinking so that you can relax and be happy with not being perfect at things? I've always been one of those people who is OK at everything - never really bad at something, never really great at something and I guess that I just want to find just one something that I'm really good at. Maybe if I find that the perfectionism will calm down?

EDIT: I apologise for the fact that a lot of my blogging lately is so negative!! I am generally not that negative a person, just a couple of things I've been thinking about lately needed venting... and I thought others might be able to relate. Positivity returning at some point, hopefully.

Also, I'd love to see more people join up with me on dailymile, if you have accounts. My dailymile account here. I get quite a kick out of seeing different people's workouts and learning from what they do.


  1. I used to struggle a lot with perfectionism. It's basically the source of my anxiety issues! A year in therapy helped me out so much, and after that I've just continued to improve. Running has helped me a lot to. It helps me to relax and gets my endorphins flowing, so I deal with other situations better.

  2. I completely understand on this one. I still struggle a bit with this, but am getting better. My flaws and quirks are what make me "me!"

  3. I'm afraid I can't give too much advice since I love for things to work out perfectly and be done perfectly, etc. I've learned though, to just let go of the things that don't truly matter, though learning that didn't come until after a good friend passed away. He'd spent his short life dedicated to career dreams and being a good person and his death really showed me what mattered & what didn't. From there, I was able to loosen up my perfectionist ways on the things that weren't as important.

  4. Aww I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with this friend! I agree with Tara that the combination of exercise and some therapy really helped me :)

    You can and WILL become someone who can relax and be happy with not being perfect at things. It takes time, but you can do it!

    P.S. Thank you for your kind words on my depression post! It means a lot <3

  5. I like to accomplish things during the day for sure but I also enjoy the flip side of sitting down to a nice meal and relaxing for a while. I love to make lists and cross things off. I think because I have 3 kids there are always things to do so I always feel productive. Lucky me.

    What you feel is completely normal, you sound just like my sister. Be good to yourself and celebrate your achievements.