Self-care? Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Self care. Oh yeah. I can fit that in.
There are times in a person’s life when merely getting up in the morning is a feat worthy of a medal. Going through a divorce or caring for an aging parent or adopting a new infant mean high levels of stress hormones and little sleep. You can barely get to all that screams for your attention. Just what you need. One more “to do.” Even the more normal routines of life can be crazy-making. I’m not immune. I value my work. But it can be stressful at times. I deal every day with great people often at their most stressed-out worst!
I write this on the plane, returning from several days experiencing the warmth of the sun, connection with good friends, and too much food and drink. But it was more than all that. It was more than the new experiences: practice at a shooting range with a Sig Sauer 380. A crazed golf cart ride down a busy Florida boulevard. Yoga with new and different instructors. Sitting in on a jam session at a Posi-Palooza concert. Early morning curling up on a girlfriend’s bed with hot coffee and talking way too long. Those were awesome charges to my personal battery. Great fun, enhanced by sharing the experience with great friends.
But here’s the important part: my mind and body got jolted out of the norm. They sat up, paid attention to something different, and we hit the reset button.
As I sit here, my body jammed in my plane seat, my mind is also jammed with new ideas for better serving my clients, being a more effective Collaborative team member, and getting the word out more clearly that people facing conflicts in their families, at work or with friends have choices with tools and systems available to them. I’m ready to get back in the saddle and kick the spurs.
It’s a challenge to fit it in. I know that. And the economy doesn’t help. But a self-care break doesn’t have to involve planes or sunny locales or significant sums of cash. It does involve going anywhere or doing anything that takes you out of your normal routine, stimulates your mind with learning or experiencing something new and allows you take a breath and reset. Do something different in the next town over. Take a tour at a glass blowing factory. Go to a lecture at a university on a topic you know nothing about. Try a different class at the gym. Visit several wineries near you and compare wines. Test drive a car you know you’ll never buy (at least not for awhile!). Invite someone to lunch you’ve wanted to get to know better. Take a class at your local community college in conversational Spanish or flower arranging or car repair. If it sounds a little whacky to you, all the better. The point is to reset and restore. We all need it regularly. (Even the hard drive on my computer decided it needed a reset on this vacation and crashed on me!)
So if you are surviving a family transition, or if you are a newly trained Collaborative Professional sharpening your skills, or adjusting to the adoption of a new child into your home, or facing the realities of aging for a loved one, open your calendar and get something on the schedule so that when you return to those challenges, you are invigorated and confident of your ability to meet them. The rigors of your current situation will not seem so insurmountable when you are recharged, reset and rarin’ to go. You can fit that in.
Wishing you wisdom,