I remember when my boys were small; they would run, play and be on the move seemingly non-stop. If they didn’t slow down every once in a while for a short rest they would inevitably ‘hit the wall’. They would have an emotional melt-down, usually followed by a nap. When they awoke I would see smiles and hear giggles again.
Simple isn’t it? The same happens to adults as well. Many will work far too many hours with far too little rest, becoming frustrated and disappointed as the results they are achieving are not what they wanted. We need to take time to rest! It’s part of that self-care that I talk about all of the time.
Each of my clients knows when we meet; I’m going to ask what they have done to nurture and care for themselves. Holistic life coach here, remember. If I’m not resting enough, nourishing myself well and exercising a little bit, there are real consequences. I simply am not going to do my job as well as I would like if I’m hungry and tired. I might not have the energy to go hiking with my husband if I haven’t taken the time to exercise a bit regularly.
How do you take care of yourself? For me, it’s imperative that I have time for a bath every day. I need to be in the water, quiet and alone. It nurtures me on every level. I might spend 5 minutes or an hour, different days I find that I have different needs. I know when it’s time for my bath, not according to the clock, but by the restless and edgy feeling that I begin to experience. Taking that time gives me what I need.
Even my dog Indy knows what he needs, and because he has never been taught not to ask for what he needs he will ask me to take him for a walk, he needs exercise. Alright, I’m in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sometimes he has to settle for the treadmill, but the point is that he is a more contented, well-behaved dog when his needs are met.
This is not complicated at all. I realize that it’s often difficult to eat, sleep and exercise as we know we should. But I encourage you to put yourself on the list of top priorities. If you need a vacation but simply cannot take the time, how about a 15 of meditation in a quiet room. Allow yourself to feel the rest and appreciate how much better you feel afterward. Maybe you feel like you should be at the gym every day but it’s not going to happen. You might consider taking a short walk with your family, a friend or enjoy the peace and quiet of a short walk by yourself in the park.
Little changes to take care of yourself may yield big results. A dear friend who is deeply faithful was feeling stretched because she simply felt she was not devoting any time to her faith. This was on her mind frequently, affecting her work and other day to day activities because she felt this lack which was so important for her. Simply allowing herself a scheduled time to practice and study a little bit has helped her tremendously.
I’m not going to tell you that I eat right all the time, sleep every night and exercise faithfully. Instead, I have learned to listen to myself and to acknowledge what my body; mind and emotions are telling me that I need. Remembering my own life coach and what she taught me, I pay attention to that need and nurture myself. When I’m feeling better, I’m more productive and everyone around me is happier as well.
This week I encourage you to take a nap. Enjoy the feeling of refreshment from 20 minutes with your eyes closed, not thinking about or doing anything. Notice how happy you feel when you awake. And then do it again the next day, and the next…
With warmth and a yawn,