Have you ever had those days….weeks….months where you take on too much? You jot down too many tasks, say yes to too many commitments, and internalize too many problems? May was that month for me. Just too much. Very busy, and too many commitments. On top of it all, I fought a cold that entire month and wouldn’t admit the overload of tasks was creating the funk feeling (and the sickness) instead of helping alleviate it.
In June, I secretly vowed, I will be all about self-care and slow down. But no, because between two kids finishing school, friend birthdays, and three family birthdays there is no time to slow down! I panicked. Then I realized…..
Yes there is.
I jotted down my time wasters. Most of them were social media, especially Facebook, and told myself I would spend less time on them. Other things cropped up too. I crossed out these unnecessary energy-sucking tasks and filled them with soul-fulfilling ones.
Meditation: I vowed I would meditate anywhere from 3 minutes to 20 minutes every day in June. So far I have only missed one day! It really helps my swirling thoughts settle and organize.
Working Out: I started a new workout that other friends committed to. Although we don’t live together or in the same neighbourhoods (or province with one!), we do the workouts every night and check in with each other. This support helps. I also need to start doing a bit of cardio again, even if it is walking outside. I crave alone time like crazy, so I think a solitary walk before it gets dark would be beneficial to my mental and physical stability.
I Say No: I am slowly learning that even if I say no to an offer it doesn’t mean that person will hate me forever and my life will not slowly start to spiral out of control. Bullying in school made me feel grateful that people will even bother to look at me, much less talk to me. It makes it so that, even though I don’t want that much on my social calender, I am afraid to say no…just in case I don’t get another invite. My advice- KNOW YOURSELF. Be very aware of your comfort level and stay there. There are Social Butterflies and there are The Quiet Types. The Social Butterflies are very happy being extremely social. They feel better in a group of friends and with a full social calender. The Quiet Types (me, I’m talking about me now) feel more comfortable with a small, but tight, social circle that they trust with their darkest secrets. These Quiet Types really only want about two social commitments per month, and their friends need to respect this space and allow them their quality alone time. (This is me, and one of my virtues and faults combined is that I never really get lonely. I love being alone, reading or writing or just daydreaming. A blessing and a curse).
I Breathe: Whenever my thoughts derail I stop whatever I am doing. I look at my feet. I look at the sky. Then, I look straight ahead and I breathe in the biggest breath I can for 5 full seconds and breathe it out for a beat of 5. If I need to, I do this several times. A lot of times I feel tension release from shoulders that I never knew was there!
That is pretty much all I have time for at the moment, and it seems to be working. Every once in awhile I forget these rules…and every time I just don’t have time or it is a week that is full despite my saying no to several events. But that’s life, and a full one. I do try and that’s all a person can do! And when I forget my body gently reminds me that I am run down- like with the cold I have now been hit with. Better slow down next week and nap or sleep a lot.
Any other tips for self-care I should be trying? Let me know!