All around me lately are signs that there is an epidemic brewing.
An epidemic of trying to fill ourselves up by giving more, being more, being bigger, earning more, acquiring more, buying bigger, doing more, staying busy, overcommitting. Life. Is. Just. So. Busy.
We use phrases like “crazy busy” with a straight face. We down coffee after coffee. We keep putting it out there and sometimes it feels we’re not getting enough back. We end up depleted because we’re running ourselves ragged trying to get from others what we really can only ever give to ourselves.
The solution is fairly simple. We need to rest.
Without a strong foundation of caring for ourselves and understanding what we need to be our best (and giving it to ourselves), we will eventually crash. Our bodies will begin to rebel. Our minds will get overwhelmed. We will struggle more and accomplish less.
We will yearn to reinvent, but have no real idea what it is we’re reinventing or why. We’ll be running from instead of moving towards.
Maybe you’re feeling it?
Contrary to what a lot of us wish were true, the reality is that the less self care we practice, the more we need. And the less we’re open to receive it from the world around us.
As a client said to me this week, when a person is running on adrenaline and running on putting everything ahead of himself, at some point he starts wondering… is he addicted to this lifestyle? What fuels him when he is standing still?
He didn’t know. But he’s going to go find out.
What fuels you?
This is a serious question – and one that can be challenging and, as in the case of my client, even startling to answer. It’s not something that can be effectively explored as we’re driving home, talking on the phone, racing against the clock.
We need to take the time. Time just for ourselves.
I can already hear the objections. Some of us just don’t have time. We can’t find it. And yet, it’s there. We’re all given the same 24 hours every single day, 7 days a week. How we fill that time is up to no one else but us.
Most of us have commitments. Finding time for rest and self care is about whether we take on our commitments consciously and whether we truly consider caring for ourselves to be one of those commitments. It’s about how we negotiate meeting our commitments, how we prioritize, whether we’re willing to understand and communicate what we need to be at our best, to ourselves and to others.
I can almost guarantee you that if you don’t do it, no one will do it for you. And the easy part (you were waiting for the easy part, right?) is that all you need to start is 5 or 10 minutes a day. Just begin. Start slow. Take a couple of steps before you start running.
In the spirit of superhero-style rest and radical self care, I made my own commitment this week.
I’ve agreed to take my self care from the pretty good and also sometimes backsliding space it’s in now to a 12. Remember how Spinal Tap turned it up to 11? I’m going them one better. (Stay tuned. I’ll share some of what I’m doing here.)