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Mental spring clean, step 5: Walking the walk

Written by Katariina Keinonen (18 Mar 2016)

This is the final part of our mental spring clean. Check out the first part here.

Understanding what makes your life a good life is half of the journey. The second half is taking action based on that knowledge. The most productive attitude here is not the "just-decide-to-feel-great-attitude" that you sometimes see urged in magazines and such. Instead, it might be for the best to find an empathetic view with yourself.

Look at your situation and the struggle you have been in with stress. See how hard you have tried to cope and to keep going with an ever exhilarating pace. Then take a moment and think about how you would talk to friend in an identical situation. Can you show yourself the empathy you give others? Can you be kind to yourself?

Try doing something fun or relaxing today – just for you, you have earned it.


Kirsikka is wobbling along, learning to walk the walk.

I would never say to anyone else who's feeling stressed and fatigued "you should have gotten this ready yesterday, you lazy cow, you must stay up until the wee hours and focus on work no matter how exhausted you feel". Instead, I'd encourage them to rest a bit and do something relaxing. Tomorrow's always a new day.

A couple of days ago it was a bit like this. I have a long to-do list and every day I get those feelings that I should do more, be more efficient, be able to concentrate fully on work. Yet, in the evening, I felt mentally quite tired and decided on a whim to dig out an old computer game I never quite started and play for an hour. It was both fun and relaxing (after the initial trouble in getting the game to run!). The next day my mind was more at peace and I noticed I felt less guilty than if I had tried to work in the evening and "not get enough done". My partner also applauded my choice to relax.

Especially if you've had a long, stressful work week, try to take at least a moment to yourself and do something you enjoy, something that has no productive goal. Relaxation and detachment from work is, after all, necessary in order to maintain productivity.

– Kirsikka