When things get crazy in your life and you just can't do it all, what are the first things you drop off your to-do list? I can tell you, without the least bit of hesitation, the first things to fall off mine:
Which means that when I'm stressed out, the first things I stop doing are the things that help me manage stress.
Brilliant, I know.
Am I only one who does this? I have to believe I'm not.
Nowadays, the month of May and first half of June are almost as crazy as the back half of November and the month of December. Of course, in all the wisdom of my pre-kid-self, I conveniently gave birth to my children in December and May. (Who knew?!?) So in addition to all the other craziness that we all have in those months, I also have kid birthdays. Which basically means I'm insane in May and December. It also means that I am stressed out, more likely to have anxiety attacks (a new-this-year added bonus!), and I consistently stop exercising, meditating, eating healthy, having downtime, and sleeping enough.
Insert eye roll here.
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We survived the end of the school year and all that comes with it and now we're on vacation and...it's just lovely. There's swimming and golfing and camp and games and reading and napping...and just loads of self care for everyone. Which means lots of smiles.
So if I know this, if I know that self care equals smiles for all, why do I ever let anything get in the way of it? If I'm miserable when I don't exercise and meditate and chill, why do I ever let those things go?
No really, I'm asking you why. Do you know? Do you know what possesses me (us all) to push ourselves to exhaustion and frayed nerves when we know a better way? I am old enough to know better. I DO know better. So why do I still do it?
Any of you out there who don't drop the self care when the going gets tough, please share your wisdom. Please tell me how you do it. I know the why, I just haven't figured out the how.
And every time I come out the other end of one of these crazy times, I vow that I won't do it next time. I swear the next time things go haywire, I'll keep the self care and let other things fall away. And I never do.
So I thought I'd try some accountability:
On this day, June 14, 2018, I vow to continue doing the things I need to do to feel good even when life gets hectic. You all are my witnesses. Next time you see or hear me all stressed out, please remind me of this vow and send me off to do a meditation or go for a walk or something, okay? You have my permission to sit me down for a good, stern talking-to. Put me in a time out, please.
Because I don't like feeling like this. I don't like feeling fat and bloated and tired and frazzled and scattered and short-tempered and all of the awful things that I become when I let the good stuff go.
So if you're at all like me, if you've stopped the good stuff, the things that make you feel like your true and lovely human self, then consider this your good, stern talking-to:
Stop right now, and go take care of yourself. Go for a walk or a run. Do some yoga. Meditate. Pray. Sleep. Have a salad or a smoothie. Play a game. Paint a picture. Read a book. Watch a Rom-Com. Sit on the patio and stare into space. Do your version of real self care (not fake self care, like eating an entire bag of chips while scrolling Facebook...do the real deal).
Eventually, I believe we'll all really, truly learn this lesson and we'll never stop doing the good stuff again. At least I hope.
Until next time, take care of yourself and encourage others to do the same. Let's all be healthier, happier, and saner.