11/17/2014 03:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Internal Bliss, Where Art Thou?

Are you dealing with an early case of the winter blues and on the brink of no return? If you are like me, already missing sunlight in your daily life, and suffering from an overwhelming feeling that there is not enough time to check off your "to do list," without a heart-aching, palms sweating, can't catch your breathe, annoying internal guilt then listen here... You gotta let it go!

My meltdown came shortly after a busy week of starting a new gig: Getting up to speed in a new industry that I've never really tapped into took longer than I anticipated. I began organizing my freelance projects, preparing for my first large-scale fundraising event, while trying to juggle working out, eating right, seeing my loved ones, with enough energy at the end of the night for my partner... I couldn't shake my internal guilt! I say internal guilt because it wasn't like anyone was complaining to me, or my work was suffering with missed deadlines or my figure was in real jeopardy (well, I mean, we are never really content with our body or see ourselves as the real versions we truly are. Which results into this crazy rat race of never being thin or beautiful enough... but that can wait for another blog post). My good friend Jessa elegantly defined internal guilt, as the struggle between what your heart desires you to do, versus what you should be doing based on your to do list, etc.

But thanks to our time change -- the lack of sun light brought me an early case of the winter blues -- I started to worry when am I ever going to shake this constant battle of internal guilt that kept creeping in? It would come to me when I was trying to have "me time" (which I highly recommend, especially in transitional periods in life, turn your cell on silent for an hour or so and really unplug). It would knock on my subconscious, if I wasn't constantly calling all my family members to see how they are, or checking in on friendships that may need a little TLC, etc.

So after I came home from an amazing hot yoga class (aka my therapy, escape, an hour of bliss I look forward to 2-3 times a week) I broke down to my partner, and started to complain how I never feel like I have enough time... never enough time to cook, clean, grow, play, spend time with loved ones, be adventurous or build my career, and all of this was a direct result into my crazy annoying internal guilt!

And so, like most men who are put into an unexpected meltdown, my partner laughed at me! He told me that there is no reason to feel this internal guilt, and the added pressure I was creating wasn't going to help anything. And so I dug deeper, and the pattern I'm starting to realize in my A-type, high functioning personality is the inability to let things go! So here are my top five items of things to let go in our daily life, to remove this internal guilt we create:

  1. Let go of unrealistic expectations
  2. Let go of the need of acceptance, approval, praise or overall recognition
  3. Let go of comparisons, the grass isn't always greener
  4. Let go of past problems/issues and future tasks/hurdles you might have
  5. Let go of crazy to do lists and filling each day with copious amounts of tasks to complete to feel good

If you can practice letting things go, live in the present and know that everything happens for a reason, hopefully your internal guilt will slowly disappear. This is what I pledge to do in the upcoming winter months, and hopefully it will cure my case of internal guilt that I've been battling.

Do things that make you happy, feel good, give you purpose and know that it's ok to do these things. In the end, they will help you achieve what you aspire in life! Or as Jessa says, "sometimes the best thing to do is ask yourself, if your best friend came to you with the same situation, what would you tell her? And take that advice!"