As adults it is easy to forget that we need to take time out sometimes in order to recharge and feel re-energised. Without this time we inadvertently turn into toddler versions of ourselves, having tantrums about minor issues and doing a grown up version or the tired cry all parents are familiar with.
We may not throw ourselves on the floor and kick our feet any more, but we do stamp about, moan about having to do everything ourselves, and refuse to stop even when ever part of our being is screaming “BUT I’M TIRED!”.
Different response (although only slightly!) but with the same trigger – overwhelm.
When life gets busy we push ourselves to do everything and then eventually it all gets too much.
So what should we do when overwhelm strikes?
Well, I can’t really tell you that.
You are probably wondering what the purpose of writing this is if I can’t give you any advice – am I right?
Well, I didn’t say I couldn’t give you any advice, I just said that I couldn’t tell you what to do.
Not the same.
You see the magical thing about living creatures is that no two are the same. You might be very similar, but you are never the same.
My sister and I look alike, we sound identical, we like the same types of music and films but we are also very different.
When my sister feels tired and overwhelmed she goes for a run or reads a book. I have a bath AND read a book – you see, we’re nothing like each other! *giggle*
The point I am trying to make is that we are all different, so what is relaxing and a real indulgence to one person is another worst nightmare.
It isn’t what we do that is important though, fortunately, it is the fact that we step away form the to do list and the never ending chores and allow ourselves time to relax and unwind. Whether that means playing a round of golf or knitting, it doesn’t matter, as long as you feel nurtured and happy.
You may want to be alone or meet up with a group of friend.
Your idea of chilling out might be going clubbing, or it might be walking up a mountain and sitting quietly.
It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are doing it because you want to not because you feel you should.
It is also important that you do not at any time; before, during or after, feel guilty for taking this time for yourself.
This is where self care can be a challenge for many people. They know they should spend time relaxing but the whole time they are “relaxing” they are feeling guilty for doing it.
THAT’S NOT RELAXING!
By doing this you are neither getting through your jobs or giving yourself the time out you so need.
“You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Every so often, everyone needs to give themselves a big ol’ bear hug and treat themselves to some TLC.”
Today I am working. It’s a weekday and I do most of my work while my children are at school. Am I sitting hunched over my desk?
I’m sitting with my MacBook on the patio table enjoying this beautiful weather we are enjoying the UK. Dreaming of my upcoming holiday as I type.
Find moments of joy even in the jobs you do. Maybe you have to do some weeding. Make sure you take time to appreciate the beauty of the garden as you do. Feel the sun on your back. Listen to the birds singing.
Maybe the job you need to get done has no obvious pleasure associated with it. Get back to the basics. I am grateful I can see well enough to mend these trousers. I am grateful I am able to stand for long enough to clean the mirror. Whatever you are doing, remember that there is someone somewhere wishing they were able to do it. Find the positives in the jobs you do but make sure you take time to relax and recharge too. You will get those jobs done quicker and with more energy and accuracy if you aren’t tired and angry doing them.