5:32 p.m. I am exhausted. I have only logged ~2500 steps today, but I am so tired. Granted I did sit in front of a computer for over 9 hours and have been on conference calls and video calls much of the day, but I have had little physical activity. I took some pre-workout 45 minutes ago, hoping to find some energy to get in a workout this evening, but it just isn't happening. I just want to yaaaawnnn… take a nap. Yet I feel so guilty for feeling this way.
WHY?! I need to be productive, I shouldn't waste time when there is so much to do…and I NEED to work off that extra dessert I had earlier….
STOP. Right. There.
I ALWAYS talking about kindness and being kind to others but I don't always extend the same kindness and graciousness to myself. Can you relate?? If so, keep reading…
Why do we talk about being kind to others - friends, family, strangers - yet we don't always talk about self-care and our own struggles with being kind to ourselves? Right now is especially hard. Like REALLY hard. Many of us are struggling with loss of income, homeschooling kids in addition to working from home, feelings of isolation, feeling trapped, feeling hopeless. I could go on and on about the different situations I see and hear. It is completely overwhelming. And none of us know when this will end….
If we are not recognizing and addressing our thoughts and feelings, and taking care of our mental health, it will catch up to us. Like today, when I needed a nap at 5:32 p.m.
So what do we do? First, stop feeling guilty for taking time for YOU. Stop NOW. You are a human. A human that is dealing with a lot right now and needs a friggin' break. Now that you (we) have recognized it, let's make a plan to make sure you (and I) aren't getting to that low point as often.
First, make sure you are scheduling time each day for something you enjoy and look forward to. Maybe it is a workout. Maybe it's reading a book. And maybe it is eating a piece of cake (or two) and watching a reality T.V. show. ALL of those are OKAY! It doesn't have to be productive. It just needs to be something that makes you smile and makes you feel happy. No judgement on what that is - we are all different.
Have you identified it? Write it down. Now schedule when you are going to make that happen tomorrow. And do this Every. Single. Day. Maybe you are waking up a little early. Maybe you are actually scheduling a lunch break - I know, tough to do when you work from home, but not impossible. Maybe you are putting the kids to be a little early. Whenever it is - make it a priority and make it happen.
Second, find an accountability partner or even better - create a group! A person/group that you can check in with each day. And check in. Often! Text funny memes, schedule a virtual happy hour, go old school like me and mail them a card. Whatever! Just do it. Never underestimate the power of a text message and how it can brighten someone's day. And what you put out into the universe comes back to you. So this is actually still being kind to yourself in a "what goes around comes around" kind of way :) Have your person/group I mind? Okay - text them now and tell them how awesome they are. I will wait…
And my third tip - turn off the news. I am not saying to ignore reality or not to stay informed. It's important to know what's going on, but don't keep the TV on in the background or check it multiple times a day. A quick 2 minute scroll through my Facebook news feed and I am usually caught up on whatever is happening right now. But then, turn it off. Check it in the morning and maybe once during the day, but don't sit up a night and let it make you anxious. Bored? Go back to my first tip and do more of that. :) And please stop the negative posts! Remember the "if you can't say something nice" rule. I will bring it into the 21st century and say "if you can't post something nice, don't post at all." In an already stressful time, the last thing we need is more negative vibes out there.
Okay, so we have a plan. You are scheduling time in your day for "me" time tomorrow, you have texted your accountability person/group to get that started, and you have turned off the news. Now let's celebrate our plan - go pour a drink, make a cup of tea, or fix a delicious snack. You will get through this. We will get through this, and we will be nicer to ourselves along the way.
Oh and P.S. - If you need an accountability partner or friend, drop me a line below. I would love to tell you how awesome you are.