My frugal fall challenge did not go as expected.
In September, I had committed to limiting my spending to $50 a week until the end of November. This was for groceries, gas and fun.
Though I did well the first few weeks, I soon gave up.
While I do think it is possible to limit spending to $50 a week, I honestly didn’t need the added stress of trying to stick with it.
To do it right it required in-depth meal planning around grocery store flyers as well as keeping close track on car mileage and planning even short trips well in advance.
Money is already a stressor for me.
Add the pandemic and day-to-day pressures from work and managing my mental health, and it was just one too many things.
I was feeling anxious about it and the best thing to do was let it go.
It’s what I have had to do this entire year – let go of the extra things that aren’t necessary and that add to the stress load.
I highly recommend it. Cut out the people that make you feel bad, stop doing the unnecessary jobs that weigh you down and get rid of the clutter. I find if I have a tidy house, I feel better.
However, be careful to prioritize your mental health.
Often when we are looking at the list of things we need to do, we cut out things like “yoga” or “walk with a friend” because other things seem more important.
Taking care of your mental health is extremely important, without it you will burn out and be unable to complete any of the tasks you need to do.
At my first job out of university, I was the only employee making the paper about a month and a half.
I didn’t want to let my community down so I hustled.
I worked probably 10 hours a day six days a week at least, probably more than that.
When I finally got to slow down I never recovered.
I was listless and unhappy, blaming it on the “boring” small town I was living in, moving away a few months later.
Looking back though, it was because I wasn’t taking care of myself and I didn’t know how to recover from that stress.
I hope not to put myself through that again.
However, it is hard. Friday evening at 9 p.m. there is always another story.
But now, instead of jumping to cover it, I take a second.
Is this breaking new?
Do people need to know this now?
Will the story still be there in the morning? Or on Monday?
How am I feeling?
Can I do this now or should I wait?
Sometimes I do have to put on a sweater over my pajamas and come to the office late at night.
But sometimes I can wait, because taking care of myself is important work as well.