Ah, self care. Just when we need it most is when it so often falls by the wayside. We get busy, we get stressed and the idea of taking time for ourselves just doesn’t seem possible. This is the kind of thing that keeps people laying awake at night stressing. The thought spiral goes something like this: I have so much to do – I can’t believe I committed to that. How am I going to get it done? Damn, I forgot I’m supposed to call so and so back. Should I get up and write it down? Then it might be harder to get back to sleep. You know, I really should keep a pen by the bed….on and on it goes.
Does any of this resonate with you? It’s the voice of stress. Usually it’s accompanied by the idea that if you stop and don’t DO then you’ll fall even further behind and you keep spinning. OK. Stop right there. We all know where this leads. To disease – yes, take the work apart, when you are without ease you are in dis ease. Not a good state. It leads to neglected relationships. I don’t have to go on; you know that story and its outcome. Let’s talk solution.
The solution is to stop and disembark. That’s right. Get OFF the train that’s barreling too fast and do something restorative. Sometimes just talking about all that’s going on to a friend and sorting it out helps. Saying it all out loud to a ‘disinterested’ party takes the stress off and often a solution presents itself and you have it sorted it out and you feel relieved and ready to do what is yours to do – with passion and with a smile on your face.
There are other things that are simple and can stop you just enough to give you new perspective. Do something you don’t normally do – take yourself out for a nice lunch somewhere you don’t usually go. Take a walk a time of day you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to get ‘out of the office.’ Meditate. Rest. Observe your resistance to doing something like this. Especially notice if you start thinking – screaming even – I CAN’T. If that’s the case, then you must. You NEED to take a break, get refreshed. It often takes way less time than you think.
Next step, once you get yourself to do it once, is to build it in regularly. It’s hard to do at first, but the truth is, when you string enough of these self-care experiences together, the quality of your life improves AND you become more productive. You actually do more in less time and feel better. Sometimes pushing harder is not the solution, but backing away and coming back with new energy and a different perspective makes it all easier and more effective. Here’s to enjoying life, being productive and feeling good, more of the time.