My friend joked with me recently, when I told her about a big project I am working on, “Don’t you think you are being an overachiever?”  I bet that many of us can answer “YES” to that question about some, or maybe even many, areas of our lives. Is this striving habit spilling over into your self-care? Well I say, let’s not let our self-care be yet another area where we tell ourselves we have to do more, better, faster.

I mean doesn’t it sound just a little silly, “I HAVE to take care of myself faster…better…NOW!” I know I’ve rushed at questionably unsafe speeds to get to a meditation and Yoga class, haven’t you? I don’t think that pedestrian would really appreciate if I “killed them with kindness?!?”

So if you want to feel more relaxed and be kinder to yourself in the New Year (and who knows maybe even right now) then why not try being an “Underachiever” and see for yourself what it is like to “slow down” and “chill out” even while you are taking care of yourself. I bet you will start to feel a little (or maybe even a lot) better.

Try it yourself.  3 Ideas to “Underachieve” at self-care:

1.  Instead of rushing to your third meditation or yoga class in a week, replace one with a 20-40 minute home practice. Then you can use the rest of the time to relax with a magazine, listen to a radio show you enjoy or call a friend you really like talking to.

2. Instead of pushing through the day to cram in an hour of “serious” exercise, let the day unfold at it’s own natural (and manageable) pace and take a short and brisk walk in the starlight at the end of the day.

3. Take a moment right now to tune into you own wisdom and ask yourself, “What do I really need right now?  What would help me feel balanced and centered?” Once you get your answer, you can make time for it, in an easy, relaxed way.

p.s. remember we’re experimenting with being Underachievers, so don’t overdo it.

Rebekkah LaDyne is based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she teaches Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga.

She teaches group class, individual sessions and retreats. She has published 2 Instructional Yoga and Mindfulness CDs for home practice.