4 things I’m allowing myself to do

4 things I’m allowing myself to do

I always start off the New Year with the best of intentions. Because while it’s an arbitary date and all that, it still feels like a blank slate. Everything seems more possible, opportunities seem closer to reach and somehow I seem more capable of grabbing hold of them. So when I first starting thinking of writing this post, that’s where my head was. I wanted to write about things I want to achieve in 2018, maybe list a few goals and talk about how much more awesome I was going to be this year.

But the reality is this. It’s the second week of January, it’s a grey Sunday afternoon, and I’ve got that wretched cold and cough that is doing the rounds.

I thought about putting off writing this post until I’m in a better frame of mind but then I realised I don’t want to do that. I know we all self-edit varying degrees of our lives online, and I’m not going to sit here and say I’m the exception to that. But pretending that is everything is okay all the time is exhausting. It makes stressful times even worse, and who wants that? So in a bid to do something a little different this year, I present my ‘allowed’ list. As per the name, hese are four things I’m going to allow myself to do/feel/be this year (and every year). I also thought it would be a nice twist on all those lists this time of year about cutting stuff out. 😉

You can probably tell this post is going to be a long one, so I hope you’ve pulled up a chair. 🙂

I’m allowed to feel gloomy

I know this sounds pretty depressing on the surface, but hear me out. We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to be happier, shinier people. From Instagram quotes to slogan tees, everybody needs us to be our best selves and our biggest cheerleaders. And don’t get me wrong – I am all for positivity and being a ray of sunshine. But sometimes –  you just can’t. Sometimes life happens and you have a bad day. The last thing you want to do at that point is be an amazingly chipper person.

Writing from personal experience, I know I have found it doubly hard to recover from a bad mood or situation when I have someone telling me to cheer up. Cheering up doesn’t always work. Sometimes we need to wallow. Obviously doing this in excess is harmful and that is not what I’m advocating here. All I’m saying is that I want to allow myself to feel like crap every once in a while. Maybe I’ll eat more chocolate than I need to and watch Friends for the 100th time, but I’ll wait it out and feel better eventually. I don’t want to force myself to find a shortcut that doesn’t exist.

I’m allowed to say no

I have actually seen a lot of articles about this so I’d just like to add my two cents into the mix. In the past, I have struggled with saying no. Whether it was at university or at work, my ability to say yes to something has always been inextricably linked to my self-worth. What if people think I’m not capable of doing this? What if people think I’m lazy? What if people think I’m a loser?

You can see the common thread here. I’m so worried about what people are going to think, I make myself do something I don’t want or don’t have time for. And I’m betting that most of the time, they probably wouldn’t have thought those things anyway.

I want to allow myself to say no more often, and to say it without feeling guilty. This is going to take some time and I already know it isn’t going to happen straight away, but that’s okay.

I’m allowed to feel proud of myself

This is such a funny one. We find it so easy to be proud of our friends, partners, kids – but when it comes to feeling proud of ourselves, the self-doubt creeps in. And admitting we’re proud is a whole other story!

I’d like to think of myself as a modest person. If I achieve something and someone pays me a compliment, I try to be gracious and pretend that it wasn’t a big deal, even if it was. Because in my head there’s usually a part of me that’s thinking that maybe that’s true. I’m also worried about coming across as someone who’s full of herself, boastful or arrogant. And there I go, worrying more about others than I am about myself.

I want to consciously change this way of thinking this year. I want to be able to feel accomplished and excited about my achievements, and I want to feel proud without feeling like I’m being conceited. Because while the admiration that others show you feels great in the moment, solid self-worth is infinitely more powerful.

I’m allowed to mess up

This one’s a direct contrast to the last one. I think most of us are guilty of setting ourselves up to a very high standard. I know I am.

I always want to get everything right the first time. I need to always be the best at something right away. Rationally, I know that learning curves exist, but I always seem to approach everything thinking that they won’t apply to me. I’ve gotten better at this as time has gone on, but I think I still need to work on it some more. Mistakes happen, and I know this phrase is overused, but we are all only human. It’s normal to feel in the moment that everything is falling apart, but what I need to remind myself is that it only seems that way. It isn’t actually falling apart, and everything will still be fine.

I hope that you found this post useful in some small way. It’s just been one of those days, and I think I wrote this post in equal parts for me as much as I did for you, the reader. I hope that’s okay. 🙂

P.S. In case you were wondering, the pictures were taken in the grounds of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck.


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14 thoughts on “4 things I’m allowing myself to do”

  • You are absolutely allowed to feel gloomy! I think the idea that someone can be happy all the time is wrong, life is all about the good and the bad. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a bad mood it’s much easier to just accept it and have a “meh” kind of day than pretend everything’s fine.


    • Exactly! I’ve come to realise that I’d much rather weather out a bad mood than force myself to feel better and fail at it. 🙂

    • Thank you, it is a lot better now! I agree 100%. I think most of us put too much pressure on ourselves, so it’s something I want to make a conscious effort to improve.

  • I loved this post! At a time of year when people are trying to restrict themselves, it’s nice to take a step back and, as you said, take a look at what you want to allow yourself to do/say. I especially resonate with the point about allowing yourself to be gloomy when the entire world is telling you otherwise. If someone tells me to ‘cheer up’ I can bet that it’ll make me feel worse. Like you said, sometimes we just need to step back and let ourselves feel things rather than trying to instantly fix it.

    I really enjoyed reading this. I hope you’re successful in your mission this year 🙂
    Isobel xx

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. 🙂 Yes I’m the same! When someone says that and I can’t cheer up, I feel like something is then wrong with me or I’m just being difficult. And the reality is neither of those things. 🙂 I suppose I just needed to remind myself! x

  • I just want to start by saying thank you so much Sneha for your wonderful comment on my blog, I was feeling really low when I wrote that post and your words made me feel less alone and I was relieved to hear I wasn’t the only one feeling that way so thank you, I will always be eternally grateful for your message of support<3 I definitely agree about how we are always surrounded online with needing to be happy shiny bubbly people 24/7 but that's not always the reality and can get so caught up in this need to be super positive all the time online when that's not always the case. Its ok to feel down or upset and allow ourselves to wallow and give ourselves a break from social media when you need it, especially for our own mental well being at times. It definitely helps I think. I love your list so much, I feel its speaking to me haha. You should definitely be allowed to feel proud of yourself and celebrate all your victories and saying no can be so liberating. One of my goals from last year was to spend less time with people or situations that didn't make me happy which did mean I had to say no to many things which was strange at first but ended up being such a big lesson learned for my own happiness and made such a huge impact on my life in such a positive way and I think you'll discover that too 😀


    • Aw Kate, I’m so glad I was able to make you feel better! And it’s great to know that you enjoyed reading my post. It wasn’t planned at all – just kind of came to me as I was writing it, haha. It’s awesome that saying no made such an impact in your life, that’s exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my post. I know it will take some getting used to, but it’s definitely something I am aiming for!

      Thank you so much for your lovely message, it has really brightened up my Sunday. I hope you have a great week ahead. 🙂 xx

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! Thinking it’s not okay to be gloomy or sad just puts a lot of unnecessary pressure – sometimes we just need to see it out instead. 🙂 x

  • Such an important post. I completely agree with you how so much of the time we don’t give ourselves the permission to just ‘be’ – no matter what the emotion is! And feeling proud/allowing yourself to feel proud is SO important. I’ve struggled with that too in the past – and sometimes it goes against what we’ve been taught: don’t boast/it’s never good enough/what’s the next thing?
    We’re definitely allowed to be, say. do and feel all these things and SO much more!
    I really enjoyed reading this post in particular; I can feel it was quite heartfelt and resonated with me <3

    With love, Ana

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. 🙂

      I find that the “don’t boast” thing is also quite a traditional mindset. Growing up we’re told that simply patting ourselves on the back for a job well done is boasting, and I still can’t believe how deeply that stuck with me. And it completely messes with your head as an adult. For instance when you enter the job market and you’re supposed to talk about your achievements and you end up feeling like you shouldn’t!

      Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it. 🙂 x

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