I’m working on writing my now second masters thesis, and I can tell you that in this process and many others, lots of things go out the window. The first is my APA (American Psychological Association) publication manual. Literally. Anyone who has written a document of any length can attest to the frustration, tears, and sometimes screams that accompany the creative process. Sometimes, in frustration, I throw my publication manual.
If it happens to be a nice day, and the windows are open, it flies out the window.
What is not okay to throw out the window are our positive coping skills and ways in which we engage in self-care. Yet of course, those are always the first things to go when things get busy. Schedules change from summer to fall and all of a sudden after work; we are rushing to this club or that game or some event. We no longer have time to engage in the yoga, reading, whatever it is that we do to replenish and rejuvenate our soul.
It’s very easy to do when things are rough financially as well. You are so worried about paying the light bill, the rent, and all the other necessities that there is no money left over to do anything fun. That may be true; it is reality for a lot of people. Yet, when we are at our most busy and overwhelmed times are when we need self-care and fun things the most.
You cannot keep pouring juice out of an empty pitcher. Unless you are a magician of some sort, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Yet repeatedly we overextend ourselves and run on empty.
How is that going for you?
It’s time to stop. The time you are most busy is the worst time to throw self-care out the window. If you have been going at a pace that makes a marathon look like a sprint, then it is time to slow down and embrace those things that nourish your psyche.
Sometimes we are forced to slow down. Major life events, usually an emergency, illness, or injury can force us to slow down whether we like it or not. It is usually karma’s way of saying, “hello, don’t throw self-care out the window.”
What have you done to be kind to yourself today?
Can you take even 5 minutes to turn off the phone and electronic gadgets, shut the door, and just close your eyes? Can you escape the whirlwind that is your racing mind?
I have been receiving massage to help the healing of the hip muscle I tore in my most recent marathon. I have not received massage in quite a while – not since I had employment at which I was making double what I make now. I am not sure if it is busyness or just thinking that massage is a luxury I cannot afford, but the thought to schedule a massage has not crossed my mind.
While massage is indeed helpful with my hip injury, it is perhaps even more helpful for my mind and stress levels. As I was lying there allowing someone to work on my injured hip, I remembered how important it is to take care of oneself. Massage is a luxury that I cannot afford, and probably would not be getting if not for my injury. Yet, it reminds me that every once in awhile we need to do something beneficial for ourselves even if it seems to be a little extravagant. Those are the types of things that keep your pitcher full. Those moments when you take time out to replenish yourself so that you can continue to give to others are just as important as what you do for others.
What goes out the window when you are really busy? Can you identify one activity or thing that you can do to replenish yourself at times when you need it the most?