It's time to stop trying to be perfect and cut yourself some slack.

Stop taking things so seriously.

It’s hard not to. You think it’s the end of the world. I said something wrong to that person and they won’t like me anymore. I sent my boss too many emails and now he’s going to think I’m a weird stalker. I need to cut back on my spending because then I’m not saving enough money and I can’t show the bank my savings history and they won’t lend me money. And the worst one of all: your little girl says to you that you’re not spending enough time with her.

It's so hard when your child doesn't think they get enough time with you. Image via iStock.

It might be all or one of these things but being a female can sometimes leave you feeling really sh*t.

I always find myself wishing I was a better version of myself, that I had more time – double the amount of time that I do have – to be the mum I want to be, to be that employee employer’s dream of hiring. I worry about the consequences of my decisions. I want to achieve my goals, be the best mum, buy that house, all while keeping my house clean rather than having the dust accumulated so thick that I’m embarrassed to have any prospective boyfriend over for dinner (but seriously, there’s no time for that when you’re a single mum. Zero.)

But enough is enough.

Your body always catches up with you when you’re stressed out of your mind. It does with me. And I’ve lived long enough to know when it’s coming. One week I’m stressing about something and it affects my sleep (up half the night eating corn ships and watching Netflix), then out of the blue I can’t move my right shoulder and my daughter has to pick up all the shoes left on the living room rug (because I can’t reach).

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So you’ve got to stop. Please. Stop beating yourself up. Stop trying to be that perfect version of yourself and cut yourself some slack. It’s hard work being a woman (even if some men don’t acknowledge it or appreciate it). It’s hard being a full time mum with three screaming kids. It’s hard being a single parent. It’s hard juggling your personal life and your career. But maybe, if you try and stop taking things so seriously, you’ll really reduce the stress in your life and in your body.

People are much scarier in our heads than we make them out to be. Imagine them sitting on the toilet and you’ll feel better. Develop a ‘who cares’ attitude. You can only do your best at the end of the day, can’t do much more than that. Once you relax you’ll probably feel like you have more emotional room for your children, family and friends.

Create emotional space for your family. Image via iStock.

We don’t even know how long we’re here for. I find that the best way to live is to have no regrets. If this was the last year of my life would I be happy with all the decisions I have made? Do I live honestly? Maybe I should rent that bigger house and enjoy the extra space rather than kill myself to buy a house.

Think about how much wasted time you accumulate stressing. How can that time be better spent? In the meantime the years are flying by. I remember when my daughter was born, now she’s eight! Enjoy the moments. They are coming and going so fast. Take a deep breath. Put your feet up! Paint your toenails. Give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing great. Relax.

Do you tend to take things too seriously? 

Koraly Dimitriadis is an acclaimed poet, writer, actor, performer and film maker. She is the author of the controversial Love and F**k Poems and has made several films of her poems. She also performs her work in theatre. Check out her website here or find her on Twitter and Facebook.