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Giving Ourselves Credit

When you’re used to checking tons of tasks off your list, you can feel like an utter failure for slowing down. Which is likely exactly what you’re feeling and doing right now: Whether due to greater stress, less sleep, fewer work projects, shifting childcare situations, or something else altogether, your schedule is no longer packed or you’re unable to complete as much as you did prior to the pandemic. 

And that’s hard. It’s hard on your self-esteem and your sense of self. Before the pandemic, you prided yourself on being super productive. You were highly motivated and excited to start each day.

And now, with so much uncertainty, upheaval, and pain, the simplest tasks and activities feel impossible. And you’re furious with yourself for not doing enough. You’re furious that you can’t get it together and your usual spark has become a tiny flicker. 

Acknowledge this anger and frustration. And then give yourself credit anyway.

Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished amid such difficult circumstances—no matter how small, insignificant, or downright silly it might seem. Because you are doing the best you can in a very stressful situation. 

So, give yourself credit for getting out of bed and taking a shower. 

Give yourself credit for washing the dishes and doing the laundry. 

Give yourself credit for grocery shopping and making dinner.

Give yourself credit for caring for your kids. 

Give yourself credit for crying and acknowledging how you feel, even though you could have easily avoided it. 

Give yourself credit for checking in on your family or helping someone in some other way. 

Give yourself credit for making a difficult decision and for doing something that brings you joy. 

Give yourself credit for doing your work while your kids are home.

Give yourself credit for making an appointment with your therapist.

Give yourself credit for the incredible things your body does on a regular basis—from breathing to walking to talking to reading to learning. (After all, you’re a living miracle.)

Give yourself credit for giving yourself credit.

And if you’re having trouble recognizing your daily wins, ask a loved one to help you brainstorm. Or think about what you’d compliment or praise someone for, and do the same for yourself. It’s especially helpful to record your wins in a journal and re-read them when you need a reminder that yes, you are doing a great job. 

This is a challenging time and many of us feel tired, anxious, depressed, and burned out. So strive to be kind to yourself—in the words you use and in the actions you take. Try to recognize the important things you are doing every day (even if they seem too basic), and consider putting your hands over your heart, closing your eyes, and telling yourself: “Thank you.”

What can you give yourself credit for today?

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