Why It’s Okay to Step Back – Spring Cleaning for the Soul

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Amanda Uprichard Romper

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I wasn’t raised a quitter.  I was raised that when you committed to something, when you signed up, you were finishing it all the way through.  Tennis camp, a school play, volunteering, babysitting, or a school fundraiser.  You follow it all the way till your commitment is expected.  I have continued on with this mentality into my adulthood, schooling, and career.  Of course I have taken it one step further. Why just take a workout class when I can teach it.  If I can teach it, then I should be able to teach the 6am before I go to work.  If I can teach one class at the college, why not say yes to teaching two sections.  If I’m going to blog, might as well be 5 days a week.  If I’m going to do something, it’s not going to be half ass.  That was actually one of the things Mark said to me when he proposed (in the freezing cold with both of our teeth chattering).  He loved my drive.  That when I committed to something it was over 100% and that he wanted to live his life with someone who had the self determination to succeed in anything I tried.

 

I tend to go go go.  My days are scheduled by the hour.  Heaven forbid I get stuck in traffic, my next step of the plan for the day could go spiraling out of control.  I can’t get to swing through Costco to pick up the printer refill ink that was perfectly timed from me leaving clinic and heading back to teach barre.  You know what though?

 

Living like that gets old.

 

Being scheduled every single waking minute.

 

Leads to burning out.

 

Everything floating around on social media right now is all about Spring Cleaning your house.  Well I’m challenging you and myself to Spring clean your mental health and soul.

 

You may have noticed I’ve been blogging pretty much four days a week now.  Occasionally I will have the energy to get that fifth day in there but you know what?  Stepping back from that one day has reduced my stress level exponentially.  I always want this space to be a creative outlet.  The day it feels forced, is the day I never want to see because this is my happy place.  This is a space where I can share my latest shopping finds, pieces that I’m lusting over.  Or a new running playlist that I’m currently digging.  This is my way of being able to share my life with my friends and family.  Some daily humor.  A spot that you can drink your coffee in the morning at work and maybe get some life inspo for the day.  Or be introduced to some new hippie product that I’m loving that could change your daily routine.

 

I’ve also cut back on some of the classes I’m teaching at barre with the help and support of my amazing studio.  I honestly wish I could teach every single day because of the feelings I get when I walk out of that studio.  I mean I have the ability to touch 30+ women’s lives in a single hour.  To push them past their comfort zone, to help transform their bodies, to help them get stronger.  It’s something that I hopefully never have to give up anytime soon.

 

I’ve had nights where Mark and I sit end to end on our couch with no additional screens in front of us (phones, tablets, computers) and we either just catch up our days talking or snuggle up and watch something mindless like the current Netflix binge Harry Potter marathons. I have learned to push that voice in the back of my head away that creeps up telling me that there is a blog post I should be writing, an instagram post I should be uploading, or a paper I should be grading.

 

It has done wonders for my overall mental health.  I have been motivated to get up early and to the office while it’s still dark out.  I have clarity to be able to write and establish long term goals.  Most importantly, I have more time to spend with Mark and continuing to grow our relationship.

 

[bctt tweet=”Why it is okay to take a step back sometimes. Spring cleaning for the soul!” username=”meetatthebarre”]

 

With that.  I encourage you to take this time and Spring clean one thing that has mentally been wearing you down.  That PTA meeting that you hate going to.  The obligation after work that really isn’t feasible for you right now because you would rather get a workout in then sit in traffic trying to get to that event.  Maybe it’s stepping back from blogging as much or updating all your social media outlets. Perhaps, it’s that bake sale you offered to run or the book club that you still haven’t read the book for.  It doesn’t make you a quitter.  We over schedule ourselves too much and it’s time to step back and take the time for you.  Get that extra hour of sleep in, take it to the dry cleaner instead of pressing it yourself, spend the day having fun instead of worrying about deadlines.  You will come back refreshed and ready to tackle everything that life throws at you.  What things do you want to Spring Clean for your mental health?

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52 responses to “Why It’s Okay to Step Back – Spring Cleaning for the Soul”

  1. pia says:

    what a beautiful article! We really have to step back sometimes and relax instead of working all the time!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

  2. This post literally just said everything on my mind! The past few months I took on way too many things and all that stress and chaos really floats into other areas of your life (like having zero time to spend with your loved ones.) I have also been taking away some of those tasks and the mental spring cleaning, it has done wonders for my mental health as well. Beautifully written post girl! A great reminder to all of us busybodies out there.

  3. I totally agree that we are over scheduled and over stimulated…I’m the same way about posting now – I used to worry so much about getting those 5 posts up, but now I look at my week and see what makes sense!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  4. Rachel says:

    Yes! I struggle with this so much too! I (obviously) haven’t ever had the time to take the blog super seriously, but every other aspect of my life is full force – 24/7! Having to really slow down these last few weeks of pregnancy has been super, super hard for me. Having three jobs and being busy was how I defined myself. It’s strange how life changes! I’m glad you are finding a good balance and peace in letting go of some things. You deserve to love life, sweet girl! <3

  5. Jaelan says:

    I’ve been doing more of this lately. It’s still hard to remind myself that it’s ok to let some things go for the sake of my sanity. Glad you’re doing more of it!

  6. Jill says:

    I’ve been struggling with this too and you’re right, taking a step back is so important and something I need to do more of! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  7. Sara says:

    I definitely needed to hear this today. A few weeks ago I realized I wasn’t going to meet my Junior League meeting requirements this year because of everything going on. I emailed my project chair to let her know and ask for help on a solution. She was really nice, but membership emailed me last night and said I would be put on probation. I was bawling. Because I felt like a failure. Over a volunteer commitment. And not my service project. MEETINGS. I’m starting to realize that I can’t do EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. And that’s okay… I just have to convince my head of that, lol!

  8. You have so much willpower. I don’t think that I would be able to maintain this level of dedication, I am seriously impressed. I guess that’s why I sit in traffic!

    Xoxo,
    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  9. Evelina says:

    I totally agree that it is so important to step back from time to time and recharge! Mental health is so important and with everything going on in our lives, sometimes we forget to take care of our selves! Thanks for the reminder Amanda :)
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

  10. Love this. I’ve been forced to slow down lately thanks to this serious baby belly and it’s been so hard for me, but also so good for me at the same time. I don’t need to be going going going all day, every day and I’m even thinking about stepping back to blogging 3x a week this summer. It’s just hard when you love something so much to not push yourself to keep up with it!!

  11. Jenn says:

    A great post with a wonderful message. Sometimes we ALL need to take a step back and focus on what’s in front of us, instead of rushing through life. I’m glad you’re finding a good balance!

  12. I feel you on the taking on too much thing! When every hour of your day is planned out and something happens like getting stuck in traffic, it turns into a more stressful situation than it should. Sometimes you just need to take a break and enjoy the moment! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  13. Kelsey says:

    This is awesome, Amanda. Thanks for this post! I have the exact (exact!) same personality in regards to pushing myself to 110%…it’s awesome at some times, because you get a lot done, but it’s also exhausting. This is such a good reminder for me to establish boundaries on my obligations. Thanks!

    XO

  14. Morgan A. says:

    I’m definitely not the over-achiever type, but I totally am a “busy bee” where I feel like I ALWAYS have to be getting something productive done. Even now I’m like, “comment on blogs for ten minutes while you have ten minutes.” I can’t ever sit still, and I think especially with being a creative person and having things on the side like blogging and fitness related projects and a million little ideas floating around in my head I find it really hard to just stop. My husband actually said something to me the other day about how I never just hang out in bed unless I’m literally sleeping. I sometimes go to bed after him and then wake up before him. It’s really…excuse my language, but kind of shitty of me. Especially at night when we should be winding down together and talking or catching up on a podcast or a show. Sorry – this has turned into like ALL ABOUT ME, but you’ve got me thinking!!! Screw the cleaning! (Which is another HUGE keep-busy thing in my life, I can never clean enough.) I’m going to keep this in the front of my mind this week to be mindful of. Thanks for the inspo!!

  15. I love this, Amanda! When I told myself last year that I was going to make a blog comeback last year, I planned for 3 posts a week and 2 videos a week, plus daily instagram posts, retweeting and such. But after a couple of months of being on a tight schedule, I realized that it’s okay to miss a day or two. I would stay up late and get up early, just to make sure the blog posts were getting done. Thanks for sharing this, really great inspiration and something to always keep in mind! :)

  16. I needed this. I don’t know how you do it sometimes and this is how I know you do, taking a break. I feel like I never do, always multi tasking and my mind racing. I am hitting the breaks when I go on vacay for my birthday at the end of the month. I need a recharge! Great post! Thanks, as always!

  17. Chesson @ Magnolia & Main says:

    Spring cleaning for the soul sounds exactly like what I need right now! Before reading this post, I just sat down and made sure everything I needed to get done this week was on my calendar… and realized that just about every waking hour was scheduled. Um, nope. Time to do a little spring cleaning and take a step or two back!

  18. Karly says:

    Another fantastic post, Amanda! I think we’re all struggling with some of this stuff as of late, and it’s always good to be reminded that we’re allowed to step back and just enjoy life for a bit. Everything else will still be there waiting for us when we’re ready!

  19. Gina says:

    YES!!!! I can absolutely relate – so
    Hard sometimes but so worth it to put your mental health and sanity first. I’ve had a really hard time turning down seemingly menial things because I know I need some “me” or “us” time …. But it’s so worth it! And the more I do it, the more in tune with myself and my needs I become. :) awesome post!

  20. AGREED!!! sometimes we have to say no and we have to allow ourselves to rest!

  21. I think a huge part that I keep coming back to your blog is your drive. It radiates through your work. I know you went to college, have a degree, work, teach, workout, teach…. like, do you ever stop? haha (; For me, your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. I feel like you’re one of those people that puts 110% into any and everything she does. With that being said, I can’t believe you even blog a full 4 days (sometimes 5). Like where is this time and can I borrow some? (; I think accepting your sense of self and putting “you” first is the most selfless thing you can do. Which sounds odd, but really, keeping yourself healthy and mentally balanced isn’t selfish to me, it’s selfless. It means you care about yourself and how you are perceived to others. So if you can do all these things and allow yourself a break every now and again, I totally can too! (:

  22. Love this! Sometimes you just need to step back and prioritize…if something gets dropped off, that’s ok. I feel like I was raised like you and have the same mentality – you finish what you start and you do it the best to your abilities. The few times I have let things go, I feel guilty, but then sometimes a sense of relief. That’s when I know it was the right things to do!

  23. Love the idea of spring cleaning for the soul! I’ve been stepping back from trying to blog 5x a week too, and have cut down to 3 sometimes 4 times per week and it’s so refreshing! It gives me so much more time to focus on those around me which is much more important <3
    Green Fashionista

  24. Marie says:

    I absolutely love this post! You know things haven’t been so great for me lately and it makes me feel like a complete loser but I have been trying to take it day by day. Even minute by minute. I love the idea of spring cleaning for the soul. Thanks so much for posting this today. I really really need to hear it. I agree that taking a social media break and just enjoy life with those around us is so helpful.

  25. This is such a great post that I think we can all relate to! I know for me I’m trying to unplug from social media at night so my husband and I can get quality time together, rather than sitting next to each other in silence staring at our screens! xo, Kristina

  26. I always wonder how you do it all! I always try not to over committ myself, but I still feel like I’ve got too much going on!

  27. Nadine says:

    I am totally with you on taking a step back sometimes. There are some weeks where I may only blog three days. It isn’t getting the content out there that tires me, it is responding to comments and commenting on everyone else’s blog! I don’t even try to keep up with social media anymore. I might tweet or instagram every day for a week then not even open the app for five days. Haha! I don’t even know how you manage to teach barre and college on top of your full time job. Just thinking about it makes me tired!

  28. I won’t lie, taking a blog break this past week was just nice and quiet. Of course I missed all my ladies and reads but I hear ya; no screens and just down-time away from all of it is so refreshing and MUCH needed from time to time! :)

  29. I think that’s so great that you decided to take a step back! I think that it’s easy to forget that blogging is a lot of work, that’s not limited to just coming up with great content! There’s also the interaction with other bloggers and the replying to comments that take a lot of time and effort! I hope that you enjoy your extra me time!

  30. I totally agree with you on this and have been feeling the same way. Four blog posts/week are becoming even hard to do and I don’t think my weekly schedule is more busy than yours yet I still need the mental break…a little spring cleaning as you put it. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  31. LOVE THE ROMPER! I want to get one, but I feel like I’m too curvy for it. Also, I drink a LOT of water… so the struggle is real.

  32. Yes! Such an important concept to remember and embrace. I am a firm believer that as a whole society needs to quit glorifying busy. And as someone who was raised very similar to you, it’s taken a while for me to learn to not feel guilty for saying no to things that I don’t want to do or that are becoming too much for me to handle. Keep at it girl!

  33. Shannon says:

    Yesss! I have been doing a lot of stepping back lately, just to keep sane! Love that romper!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  34. Rachael says:

    Really, really needed to read this! Thank you so much. You are like my big blogging sister. I hope you know that!

  35. Totally agree with you. So interesting post ;)

    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: WORKING GIRL STYLE WITH CULOTTES

  36. Kelly K says:

    This post was so relatable! I’m the exact same way–I put so much pressure on myself and am definitely my toughest critic! This was great advice!

    http://www.rosyoutlookblog.com

  37. i definitely need to do this, and slow down everything, and post 4xs a week instead of 5. i know it would be better for my soul. thanks for the reminder to spring clean the soul!!

  38. Lindsay says:

    I really needed this, Amanda. My schedule and life have been go-go-go and extra packed lately. I, like you, was raised the same way – I was an athlete and musician since I was 5 (piano, singing, cello, gymnastics, soccer, swimming with the occasional Irish dancing and tennis). I was in Girl Scouts, honors classes and worked since I was 15. I have the same feeling as you do, so when I haven’t had the time I want to devote to blogging lately, for instance, I’m trying to remember that it’s okay. This post certainly helped :)

  39. Zelle says:

    Love love love this romper and love love love this post. I definitely need to do a little spring cleaning.

    Zelle
    Southern Style

  40. Paula says:

    It feels so nice to take a break once in a while. Just to take a step back and let go for a minute. I think nowadays we all think that we need to be productive 24/7 and it’s so important to remember that it’s okay to take a break once in a while.

    Paula
    Thirteen Thoughts

  41. Jaclyn says:

    Yes! I loove this and totally agree with it. I’ve learned over the past couple of years how important it is to step back, prioritize, and not let feelings of guilt overcome me for not being able to do it all. Zack and I have been married for four years and for each of those years he has undertaken a new business venture.. of which I’ve been involved in, in one way or another. I wish I had more time to dedicate to my blog, but it’s just not the priority, and when we do have free time there are so many other things demanding our attention. I’m in awe of people who post four or five days a week while juggling everything else they have going on. Maybe that will be me one day, but right now I think I’d go crazy trying to accomplish that on top of everything else! Summer is always when we aren’t as busy work-wise, and this is the first summer we don’t already have a million plans lined up. I’m so looking forward to being able to be home, relax, and focus on myself.

  42. Darcy says:

    Cutting back one day seriously helped me soo much!! It’s amazing what a difference one day makes.
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

  43. emelia says:

    What a great post. I cut back to 3 posts a week and actually have a similar type of draft sitting in Blogger because the feeling of renewal I have from it all is amazing. We all need time to do what makes us most happy. Love this post!

  44. Amy Arnold says:

    It’s definitely healthy to step back! Three posts per week is the most I can manage. I don’t know how you teach classes and work. You’re amazing! I love snuggle time on the couch.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  45. Tamara says:

    Great post! We definitely need to take the time to take care of our mental health too!

    XoXo,

    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

  46. Great post girl! I’ve HAD to step back from reading as many blogs as I normally do, but that’s not by choice. Choice would be stepping away from my teething baby for a few hours a day, but since that can’t happen, blogs it is. Hopefully my blog friends will still be there when I’m able to come back full force! Whenever that is…

  47. Lindsay says:

    It’s so great that you are taking more time for yourself. I feel like I need to Spring Clean my life too and this was the perfect reminder :)

  48. This post really speaks to me. It sounds like we share in some of the same personality characteristics. I also have trouble not going full throttle in everything I do and, as I’m getting older, am making an effort to learn how to take a time out every now and again.

  49. Rachel says:

    This is so great! I’ve been trying to do a lot more cutting back lately. Totally agree that burnout is no fun and with all the commitments we make for ourselves, it’s so easy for it to happen! Thanks for this reminder :)

  50. Thank you for the encouragement to do my own spring cleaning of my time!
    Visiting from #FridaySharefest from #TBB

  51. Tiffany says:

    Awesome post Amanda! I’ve definitely had to step back from blogging with the baby but I’m okay with it. I wish I could step back from cleaning house and hire it out again, but alas that is not the case right now. Maybe soon. :)

  52. kristen says:

    girl, you go! that’s awesome that you’ve been able to step back from certain areas of your life and reduced your stress. you can still be driven without going crazy. life is too short to make yourself unhappy. burning out is no fun. when i was younger i worked 3 jobs, studied full time, worked out everyday, went out every weekend (after work) and still somehow got 8 hours of sleep every night lol. i was just go go go go go go all the time, every waking hour was scheduled and multi tasking. it wasn’t until i moved here and i didn’t have that school anymore, i didn’t have those jobs, or those friends to go out with. life had to slow down, and i have never been able to pick it back up again.. i’ve tried, but i have realised my mind and body have settled into this way more laid back, slow style and i don’t mind it at all. i don’t think i am a quitter exactly, i just say yes to less now, if that makes sense. anyway, good for you for spring cleaning yourself and life. you deserve it!

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