Last week I went to 5:30am yoga rather than my usual 6am because I HATE having to leave early before savasana (the deep rest pose at the end of yoga classes where you stay still for 5 minutes). When I go to 5:30am, I actually get those few minutes to breathe and just be, which is likely the only time I get all day to do so. And, as I laid there in savasana that morning, I realized it was the first time I had been still for THREE WEEKS! Three whole weeks, guys. I’m not kidding. I had not taken a break or a day off in three weeks and I was just realizing it. And the sad thing? It’ll probably only be another several weeks before I’m back in savasana and realizing it again. I truly pride myself on being hyper-aware of my self-care habits, so I can only imagine what happens to those who don’t.
So, I’m genuinely asking you to think about this for a moment…
WHY DO WE WILLINGLY MAKE OURSELVES SO BUSY?
...AND WHY DO WE THINK IT’S OKAY?
Why do fill up our calendars not only with work and social obligations, but also with extra activities that we don’t even care to attend? Why is it so hard for us to say no to things and give ourselves a fucking break?
Because we’ve gloried the “do-it-all / go-getter / I can do anything & everything” mentality.
We think that in order to be successful, we must say yes to every opportunity and bust our asses to make it happen. We think that taking a day off is a sign of weakness, and so we put self-care on the back burner because we tell ourselves we don’t have the time.
Well, we DO have the time…we are just making poor choices as to how we spend it.
When or even IF you get 30 spare minutes to an hour in your day, do you think to yourself “Now, what could I get done or accomplish in these few minutes before my next obligation?”
If you do, then congratulations…welcome to the “Superwoman” club where we think we can handle anything and everything with ease and never take time for ourselves. It’s an exhausting life, but so rewarding…right? Because we’re doing so much for so many people, and because we know we can…so by god we will do it all with a smile on our face and we WILL SUCCEED NO MATTER WHAT it takes!
Well…I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but you are helping no one if you are not helping yourself first.
Yep, you heard me. I said it. If you aren’t taking the time necessary to relax and recharge, then you are not thriving at your highest level and you are likely doing more harm than good in all the extra obligations you pile on yourself. You may not realize it just yet…but you’re tired, sluggish, mentally drained, and inevitably about to crash.
Shit happens. And it’s okay. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives and what we’re up to that we genuinely forget to chill the hell out. It might be due to absolute chaos occurring in our lives, or maybe it’s because of something super exciting! I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing to be busy (just take a look at my planner!). What I AM saying is that it’s SO important to check yourself periodically to make sure you’re giving yourself the love you so greatly deserve, recognize when things become too much to handle, AND STOP overcommitting yourself...especially to things that are not incredibly important to you!
If you don’t, you’ll end up like me last week…having an epiphany at 5:30am yoga and then waking up the next morning unable to physically get out of bed from pure exhaustion. Yep. That’s right…I’m still learning, too. I am a self-care queen 90% of the time, and the other 10% I’m a hot ass mess eating frozen pizza for dinner, drying my hair out of the window on my way to work, running solely on caffeine/red wine, and applying layers of eye cream to hide the bags under my eyes. It’s called finding the balance…and we’re all doing it. And it's sort of beautiful.
When I start to catch myself slipping in the self-care department, I take what I call a “recovery day” where I allow myself to sleep in, push work aside, leave the chore list alone…and just relax. I don’t leave my house. I don’t make plans. And I definitely don’t get out of my pajamas. My recovery days typically involve lots of sleep, self pampering, online shopping, and romantic comedies. And the next day? I’m more than ready to get up and get going, tackle whatever comes my way, and get shit done!
What would your "recovery day" look like?
Another tool that works to keep me in line is my daily self-care tracker which forces me to tick off what I did or did not do each day. These items can include things like: drank 5 glasses of water, got 8 hours of sleep, exercised, spent time away from technology, had a positive attitude, took breaks, etc. Every evening, I take 5 minutes to sit down and check in to see if I’m actually taking as much care of myself as I’d like. It’s not always pretty to see the results, but it's a HUGE eye opener to visually seeing how you’re behaving. I highly recommend it!
I know what it’s like not only to want to do it all, but to feel like you have to do it all to be successful. However, what I’ve learned is that this is not the case at all. I’m at my best when I’m creating ease and awareness around the things I’m doing in my life. And I know you will be, too.
images from www.huffingtonpost.com, www.makers.com, www.margaretromero.com, www.pinterest.com
Tori Talks was created to inspire people to become the most authentic and empowered versions of themselves - a space where personal experiences, tips, and tidbits guide others to live strong, grounded, and powerful lives.