Lately, I’ve been incredibly busy. Work, plus the process of selling our home/buying a new home, has left me little time to do much else.
There’s a fine line between the kind of stress that makes us productive and focused, and the excess amounts of the stuff that cause overwhelm. Where is our threshold? For each of us, it is different. Some people can seem to have tons of stuff on their plate, and handle it all effortlessly. Others take on one additional task and totally fall apart. Why is this?
Besides general personality traits, I also think a lot has to do with self-care. No matter how busy, we have to take a few minutes each day to do something that grounds and centers us, that gives us mental clarity, and physical stamina, too. It could be whatever works for you: a brisk fifteen-minute walk, meditating, yoga, journaling, a bubble bath or perhaps a combination of these. Taking time out of our day to do this, even for just a few minutes, allows our minds to relax and rejuvenate, and to better handle our day and the stresses we have.
Often, when we are at our busiest, the self-care routines that we have put in place for ourselves fall by the wayside. Yet, that’s the time we need it most! We can’t manage a ten-, twelve-, or fourteen-hour day without taking time to position ourselves to do this kind of work. It’s all about balance, and although it is often a tightrope walk, the rope seems to get thicker, less fragile, less wobbly the more we take care of ourselves.
And the truth is: we are the only ones who can do this for ourselves. No one is going to tell us to take a break. No one is going to suggest that you leave work early, or come in a bit later tomorrow. We have to provide this for ourselves, as a good mother would nurture their child. There’s no doubt that we often take better care of others around us than we do ourselves.
Let’s feel no guilt about this: we know how hard we work, and we do not have to justify to anyone (or ourselves) that a few minutes a day is necessary for our mental and physical wellbeing. Let’s take the time to listen to our bodies, our minds, and provides ourselves with a bit of a break daily. We become better people when we do this: more open, more compassionate, better listeners, better workers, too.
Call to action: This week, spend a few minutes every day doing some kind of self-care. Morning is usually best, as the day can sometimes get away from us. Start with five minutes, and notice, as you go through the week, if you can and want to increase it to ten or fifteen minutes. Observe the results: does this rejuvenate you and make you more focused during the day? As always, let me know your results in the comments below.
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