My therapist once told me that the moments when we need self-care the most are the moments in which we’re most likely to think we can’t make time for it.
Over the years, I’ve found her advice to be true. When I’m overwhelmed or stressed I always think it’ll make things better to keep my head down and try to get everything done as efficiently as possible.
Usually, the result is that I become overwhelmed, and because I’m a person who somaticizes stress quickly and intensely, I end up getting sick, or at least feeling sick. The worst case scenario is that I trigger a depressive spell.
On Friday, I started to realize how totally unprepared I am to be moving on Thursday, in spite of my best efforts to prepare myself. I guess that’s how moving always is.
I’d also just wrapped up a very intense and long day of work with clients. My brain told me that the right thing to do would be to keep working until I finished my notes.
Thankfully, my wise mind told me to go to a restorative yoga class with a very beloved teacher. She’s my first yoga teacher, actually, the person who introduced me to the practice about sixteen years ago.
So, I went to yoga. And when I came back, I felt so much clearer, calmer, and more able to focus than I had before. I could have chosen then to try to do more work, but I didn’t. I went to bed early instead.
I woke up the following morning and made a task list for the move, so that I can keep track of everything I’ve done (change my address with USPS, change internet providers, put a few more things on Craigslist for sale) and haven’t (switch gas and electric to the new unit, empty out furniture that’s not moving with me).
I wrapped up my notes and followed up with clients from the day before. And I did more yoga.
Not stopping to prioritize things like sleep, food, unstructured time (I’ve learned that “rest” includes both slumber and down time while awake) is so tempting in busy times. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.
But I’ve learned time and time again that it’s nearly always counterproductive. A little self-care goes a long way, and it’s often the only thing that strengthens and prepares us for what needs to get done.
Hope you can find a way to prioritize taking care of you this week. I’ll be doing it along with you, as best I can.
On that note, friends, I’m not even gonna pretend that I’ve been able to round up links for this week. I’ve been so much less consistent with these weekend reading posts this spring, I know, but it’s just a season.
These posts nurture me, too, and I can’t wait to start writing them from my new place.
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