I was home alone yesterday and even though I knew I should be working, I did things like the clean the cat’s litter box, restock toilet paper, and water house plants. Why? Because I love to piddle and faff about before I sit down to work. By the time I settled in and found my work rhythm, the front door was opening and the family was back. I was annoyed by the disturbance and it showed. I had to apologize later.
I spent some time thinking about why it their early return made me upset when I had technically not used my time to work as best I could. It’s two prong: 1. I do not have a large house or a dedicated space for work so I work at the end of the dining room table. This means if kids are watching tv, I hear it. If they’re in the living room squabbling, I hear it. If they (and by they I mean the husband and the kids) have a random thought, they’ll mosey on up and fill me in on whatever was passing through their brain pan despite the fact that my eyes are fixed on my screen and my fingers are typing. 2. Feeling guilty about being upset by their early return, I decided to escape to a shower. And while I do not grasp the magic that makes thinking in the shower so much better than say, thinking while folding laundry, but it occurred to me that in the previous twelve months, I’ve had no focused time alone.
My time is fragmented and interrupted. This means my thoughts are fragmented and interrupted. It means my exchanges and calls with friends are fragmented and interrupted. No wonder I feel like I’m drowning most of the time. And all the hot baths and getting up before everyone else for a few minutes of peace is me keeping my head above water while my legs are still furiously treading water below the surface. I know I am not alone in this. While this might be my reality over the last year, many women have lived like this for years. I see you. I feel you.
Did you know that chronic stress leads to imbalances in our health? Ongoing stress can lead to issues like adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, blood sugar dys-regulation, and low functioning thyroid.
I work with women every day to bring their body back into balance. I’d love to hear how you’re doing and how you’re digging in when you have more than a few minutes to yourself. I know what practices work for me (dry brushing before my shower, oiling my feet, moving my body daily) but I’m also curious to know what kind of self-care practices work for you. Life isn’t about running on empty. Your tank is refillable. The question is, are you going to refill your tank with practices that help you live thrive or merely survive?
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This week’s writing prompt:
Write a list of your go-to ways to take care of your frazzled heart/mind/spirit. Pick one to do every single day this. It can be the same one seven times. It can be a different self-care practice every single day. It can be as simple as sitting still long enough to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence.
At the end of your practice, make note of what worked and what didn’t. Were you able to fully be in the moment? How did you feel after? This simple practice can help you learn how to show up for yourself again and again.