Letting Go instead of Loading Up

Posted January 18, 2022 by Guest Poster -

Letting go…instead of loading up.

New Year’s Resolutions…The most foolproof way to ensure feelings of failure when we inevitably fall off the train comes mid-February.

Some of us can see these unresolved goals as a joke, but the reality is that too often, we are left feeling anxious with low self-esteem.

It would be a disservice to ourselves to pretend that the echo chamber of failed resolutions does not affect our mental health.

We can talk about “SMART” goals, realistic goals, and small steps, but what if we spent the beginning of the year letting go of lofty self-expectations instead of loading up on piles of goals?

This new year, practice letting go with your family, and your entire home’s mental health will thank you for it.

After School Audit

The afternoon hustle can make us all feel tired, stressed, and time famished. 

Right before the spring semester begins, it may be helpful to audit your family’s after-school schedule to see where we can gain family time back, and ease up on hectic commitments.

Does Sarah have an art class twice a week that she hates and would rather stick to basketball? Can school pick-up duty be better shared with your spouse, a friend, or the school bus? Can dinner be structured so that most family members can cook, eat, and clean together on some days of the week?

Have a family discussion about what is working and what you all can let go of this semester.


Whether we are busy parents, single and in our twenties, or still in high school, there seems to be pressure to make the most out of our weekends.

Our scarce “time off” might soon be filled with day trips to grandma’s house, endless sports games, and hectic playdates. While many of these activities really are fun and good for our mental health, we must also let go of the pressure to pack our days.

Every once in a while, take a Saturday afternoon to cook, watch movies, or play as a family with no time limit or expectations.

Talk to your family about how you can strike a balance between jam-packed fun and restorative rest. 


“I will do Yoga 3 times a week.” “I will go for a run 4 days a week.” “I will cut out processed foods every day except Sunday.” “I will read two books a month for pleasure.”

Our culture is saturated with #selfcare tips and tricks to better our minds and bodies, but we must be careful how much extra activity or restriction we force ourselves to do.

Here is an example: Running. Science has shown us that running is great for our physical and mental health, and the endorphins released in our brains actually do create the euphoric feelings of “runner’s high.”

But guess what? Some people hate running. Their knees hurt, their hearts pound, and it’s cold outside in the winter.

Does that mean everyone should stick to a running schedule for their #selfcare? Absolutely not! Maybe going for a walk around the block or a hike with the family feels better, and that’s okay.

It is important to be curious and learn about new self-care techniques, but it is also essential to let go of the ones that just don’t work. 

Mental Health

We must let go of the idea of creating “perfect” mental health because how we feel on a given day is a complex interaction of experience, mood, biology, expectations, and conscious will.

We all have tough days, but sweeping feelings of sadness and anxiety under the rug in hopes of convincing yourself that you “are totally fine” is not doing a service to anyone.

For your own sake and the sake of our children, it is important to talk about our mental health in a normal, conversational way, and really embrace the notion that it is “okay not to be okay.”

Let go of perfectionism and instead look towards progression.

No one has “perfect” mental health, but we can all learn tools and skills to help us navigate our feelings, relationships, and lives in a healthier way. 

This post was written by a Charlie Health employee and mental health professional as part of a partnership with PrairieWifeInHeels.com that lasted from August 2021 – May 2022

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