Instead of honouring the struggle and allowing as much rest as possible, many people are trying to power on through… In the third year of a global pandemic… I hope these simple self care ideas help you accept your more human, vulnerable, tired, depleted, overwhelmed, lonely, insecure and exhausted parts. You don’t have to be superhuman in order to be acceptable let alone lovable…
When you feel exhausted going to bed at night, need more naps and feel tired even as you open your eyes in the morning, do you:
a) beat yourself up for being tired even though you x, y and z? or
b) give yourself a mental hug and tell yourself, Wow, you must be REALLY tired, look at your schedule and find ways to incorporate more naps, early nights and lie ins?
How might you be more b?
When you struggle to concentrate on even the silliest of series or film, do you:
a) tell yourself you shouldn’t be watching when you have to x, y and z? or
b) think, Wow. You clearly need and deserve more rest. MORE time to read and watch your favourite things as well as more deep rest like Yoga Nidra guided relaxations, a massage, time to simply relax and let go?
List everything that springs to mind for you for b.
When you recognise that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, do you:
a) beat yourself up for poor planning skills and that inconvenient humanity with limited time and energy? or
b) give people as much notice as possible and take all that is possible to take off your plate off your plate knowing you’ll do them better AND more easily when you’re feeling better?
What CAN you take off your plate? I’ve worked jobs where this wasn’t possible and ended up with a chronic pain condition that forced me to let everyone down. Now my boss of nearly 18 years (me) is occasionally great at supporting this but often leaves it later than is ideal. You only have one body. One mind. What can you cancel to protect your wellbeing?
Perhaps you can’t cancel certain things completely. When you think about what might be possible to postpone do you:
a) Tell yourself the opportunity will be gone forever if you don’t jump through all the hoops right now? or
b) Remind yourself that you get to choose. Not everything but A LOT. What is most urgent? What CAN you postpone? Are you assuming tighter deadlines when a little longer is actually fine?
Get into the habit of checking in with people. I’m a natural hoopjumper and it’s taken me nearly 18 years of doing this work full time to get better at asking people when they’d need ___ by rather than working crazy hours and burning myself out to meet expectations that were mine not theirs in the first place.
When you look around your home and find steam pouring out through your ears, do you:
a) mutter and moan about the people who live there too? or
b) make clear requests, with respect AND assertiveness, as often as such requests are required?
One of the basic presuppositions of NLP is that we teach people how to treat us. If your family, colleagues, friends etc are used to a little steam coming out your ears but know that you’ll get over it and do what you always do and they can do nothing, why would they change? It’s never too late to change the dynamics but be willing to repeat your requests as often as it takes to be heard.
When you think about (hopefully) post-pandemic life and the way things seem to be speeding up, do you:
a) think there’s something WRONG with you for feeling hesitant to get back on all the treadmills? or
b) recognise that even if you haven’t been impacted personally with the loss of loved ones and/or your own health and/or income etc, it’s been hard on everyone and give yourself permission to take things step by step?
Life speeding up doesn’t mean YOU have to. Keep checking in with yourself about your inner speed limits and know that you’re processing an enormous amount and that doing you is FINE.
Let nature work its magic
When you think about getting out into nature or spending more time with animals, more do you:
a) beat yourself up for NOT doing this enough? or
b) think about all the ways in which you can let nature support your healing and transformation more?
For more ideas for letting nature heal your mind, body, heart and soul, you can read my feature in the current issue of Irish Country Magazine (January February 2022):
What are you going to do next time you notice yourself feeling overwhelmed, depleted and exhausted?
What self care practices are you going to put in place to help you notice the warning signs before things get so bad?
Hopefully, you’ll be able to enhance the self-compassion around it and make healthier, more loving AND sustainable choices.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
You might also find the Feel Better Every Day online membership programme helpful.
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