In case you didn’t pick up on it in my last post, frustration has abounded lately. Remembering to be kind to myself has been difficult, to say the least.
Self-kindness (or self-care – they’re often the same) can feel counterintuitive. I need reminders to do it, and how to do it. So this week, I thought I’d share a far-from-complete list, subject to constant change. Because life.
- Limit screen time. Sometimes I need it to make my brain shut off or to help it recharge. The problem is that it can become a black hole. It sucks time and energy and willpower if left for too long.
- Stand in the sun. Close your eyes, let the warmth soak in, listen to the birds chatter that winter is finally over.
- Go to a play, or a concert, or the ballet – but only if it won’t break the bank! Keep an eye out for buskers or park performances, or go to a museum on a free admission day (if you have a local museum and if they do free admission days). These are all different ways of telling stories. Who knows? They may inspire something for you.
- Forgive yourself. I have really struggled with this one for the last couple months. I don’t have control over fatigue and how much energy it leaves me at the end of the day. It’s ok if my writing for the day only amounts to a single sentence or paragraph. That’s more than I had before; it counts.
- Say no, or at least set the expectation. I’ve missed meetings for my theatre group and set a narrow window of availability for a project because to go to the meeting or to stay past 8:30 pm would make the drive home dangerous. Exhaustion is dangerous and I wasn’t taking the risk I might fall asleep while driving. Not worth it. It limited my options and may have been a factor in the death of the project, but I had to set those boundaries.
- Get up. Walk around, stretch. Remind yourself that your beautiful mind is connected to a physical body. Maybe step outside and soak in the sun or dance in the rain. Be flexible like that.
- Cross things off your to-do list. It’s ok to pick the tiniest, simplest things! They’re easy to do, and once done they feel like so much more.
- Spend time with the people you love. Again, be careful of the double edge of additional demands on your time and energy. You’ll probably feel obligated to them, but refer back to #5.
What would you add to this list?