For the past few months I feel like I have been in a race. Not a rat race of self-defeating pursuit, just lots going on. Working full-time and part-time, working on a few side passion projects, both of my daughters birthdays, spending time with loved ones, doing a home project. As much as I am good about planning (yep planning) down time, break time, do nothing time, the past few months got the better of me so that nothing time did not happen in the way I needed to for me.
So this past weekend I did what I needed to for me. I slowed down. None of us, myself included, are immune to the wear and tear of doing too much over an extended period of time. For me I have been feeling the affects of my toomuchness (Webster’s dictionary does not have that word or definition yet:-)). I felt tired , my brain was foggy, my decision making felt off. I did not have enough energy to do some of the activities I love to do like working out or being outside. I was eating more food that necessary, I felt blah. My newly bought exercise bike (not a Peloton) has been sitting in the box for five days because I have not had the energy to put it together. None of this is my usual self.
Yesterday, continuing into today, and ongoing for as long as I need it, I am slowing down. I am reclaiming the time and energy I need to take care of me so that I can be the me I want to in this world. There are adverse side effects to our brain and bodies when we going, going, going. According to a Healthline article titled “7 red flags you’re working too much” describes how your productivity can stall, you can experience daytime fatigue, you can feel blue, your heart will work overtime, and it can hurt your relationships. Yep all from working and doing too much.
“Well, well, well if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions.” Unknown
Part of my I need to slow down because my energy is low is also connected to my choices. While very exciting, the home project could have been scheduled to another time, I could have pushed out and slowed down on the pace I was working on my passion projects. I could have changed the schedule of my private practice. My actions and decisions played a role.
So being the stubborn learner in life that I can be, I am changing. I am taking the time and thoughtfulness to look at my calendar for a few months to pace out my passion projects, slowing the pace of my work on them. I am changing how I schedule my part-time private practice so that I am working two nights every other week, instead of one week. Two nights every week I am making sure I have time to watch a tv show I enjoy with no distractions. I am going back to my Maslow’s Hierarchy of Judi’s needs of sleep, eating, and consistent exercise. I am blocking off sacred time to be outdoors. Being outdoors has always improved my mood. In an article in Harvard Health Publishing “Sour mood getting you down? Get back to nature” states “research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.”
“The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot.” Unknown
The good news in all of this slow down is that I now have better clarity of what I need to be happy and function at the level of energy that is positive for me. This is true for every one of us. We have a formula of self-care that keeps us functioning at our optimal level. You know when you are at the sweet spot of you because you feel it. You feel happier and healthier. Just like me you need to be protective of how you treat yourself and take consistent action to treat yourself accordingly.
For me while I usually write this blog on a Saturday yesterday I was tired. I did some minimal needed tasks and finished watching Season 6 of Schitt’s Creek. On this Sunday morning I am sitting by the fireplace, in my PJ’s typing away. While not completely back to 100% I am feeling much better. On this Sunday, my Sunday I will take a nap, eat some delicious, nutritious food, get outside, and put together the bike I am so excited to use.
Take care of you! Be vigilant in your self-care. Slow down and focus on what you need for you. You are deserving and worthy of taking care of your amazing person.
May your slow down be with you💜
Credit to the Counseling Teacher for image