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Making the Most of Downtime

Last updated on March 16, 2021

I don’t know about you but anytime I try to push myself to get more done, things start going kaput.

Either a chronic pain condition flares, I get an aura migraine up OR my computer or phone dies. Sometimes all at once. It’s like the Universe is forcing me to slow down.

It’s happened so many times, I have become (a bit) better at allowing myself the nap or an episode (or even half an episode) of something relaxing.

Because when I get too caught up in ‘shoulds’, the tech issues or health issues prevent me getting it done for however long they last anyway.

And much as I appreciate the fab remote tech support, I’d prefer to have had an actual BREAK.

The sun’s been shining today – all day – magical. I did my yoga outside this morning and have been sitting outside to write longhand and just BE as well as enjoying the usual walk as if I were on holiday on account of the warmth and sunshine.

I know from experience that allowing myself these moments, minutes and occasional hours pays massive dividends when it comes to working late and feeling fine about it.

That’s today.

The other week, my email platform went kaput. I spent a week attempting to plough ahead and work around it because I didn’t have time to call tech support. I hoped that the daily turning it on and off would fix it.

Eventually, I rang tech support and it took an hour or so but I had email that I could type on my computer rather than phone.

Happy Dance!

Next morning, nada.

I spoke to someone else at the tech support company and, with his help, logged into an account I’d not known the password for and upgraded the email service I’d attempted to sort in October 2020.

And now everything is So Much Easier. Better search function.

Better EVERYTHING.

The email glitches ultimately helped me and now my day to day work is MUCH easier.

It enabled an upgrade.

Our bodies offer us SO much wisdom

When you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, STOP.

Allow the upgrades to happen.

Keep challenging yourself to have the difficult conversations with loved ones and strangers from an open hearted (towards yourself and them) space.

Keep learning about things you may have been ignorant about before. (With any kind of privilege, this is a journey. With white privilege especially, it may feel uncomfortable but we’ll ALL benefit from doing this work).

Trust that you’re processing an enormous amount.

Recognise that you’re living through a very intense time in human history and it’s NORMAL to be discombobulated and floored by events at a global level as well as the whole pandemic thing (you’ll find free resources to help you take better care of yourself around all things Coronacoaster related HERE).

You’re also likely to be facing things in your own life that you need to deal with. The demands on your time and energy are unlikely to have suddenly gone away and yet the faster we can be when it comes to pausing, asking ourselves what we need in any given moment and doing THAT (as soon as humanly possible when other commitments mean the need can’t be met in that precise moment).

Allowing as much time as possible for basic self care can help.

Some journal prompts

When life feels like you’re inside a spinning washing machine, do all you can to slow down. Grab your journal and make a few notes about whatever springs to mind when you contemplate:

  • Getting more rest ~ what can you do to support this? What gets in the way?
  • Sleep ~ Again, what can you do to support this? What gets in the way?
  • Eating nourishing food ~ what can you do to support this? What gets in the way?
  • Moving in ways that feel gentle and supportive as well as keeping the bones, heart and brain healthy and joints and muscles well ~ what can you do to support this? What gets in the way?
  • CRYING. I know, I know. I call my practice Feel Better Every Day but sometimes, crying is the best thing we can do. How can you make SPACE to allow the grief, frustration and rage a healthy hearing and release?

There’s a LOT to mourn right now. Allow yourself to feel EVERYTHING and give yourself the time and space to process things.

Your body and mind (and loved ones. And everyone in your life) will thank you. Bit of a cliche but self care really ISN’T selfish.

Imagine 20 years from now

Maybe you’re still alive. Maybe you have a view from whatever happens to us after we die but imagine you’re looking at Planet Earth, 2041.

Wherever you look, it’s looking GOOD. Beautiful. There’s peace. Prosperity and justice for ALL.

All the social justice movements have WORKED and no matter who people are born to or where in the world, life is GOOD.

Green energy is the norm and the climate emergency was averted.

Add you own thoughts about the kind of world you want to help birth.

Allow yourself to imagine some personal upgrades for your own friends and family, too.

Know that all this upheaval will be worth it and the better you take care of yourself, the better you can support others who need it.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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