This last week a woman asked me if I had suggestions to help with feeling defeated, depleted, overwhelmed, and over it. Oh god, wouldn't it be great if there was a magic pill? Even with the time change giving me an extra hour, I could barely pull myself out of bed. I just didn't feel like facing everything so I hid under the covers for an extra hour hoping it would somehow fix 'it'.
RAW TRUTH: I've been feeling depleted since I've returned home to Minnesota a few weeks ago. I've been running too hard for too long, I'm tired and it's causing anxiety. I was warned by my bodyworker the last time I was on her table that if I didn't slow down, the universe was going to force it on me. I jokingly said that with my luck, I'd end up with two broken legs and not able to move and be literally forced to take a break I promised her I would slow down. So a couple of days ago when I fell down a flight of stairs, with my cat in her stroller, I realized, I hadn't heeded her warning from over a month ago. When we both went crashing down a flight of stairs and finally landed, my vision went white and my body broke into a thin film of sweat "OOOOOOH FUDGE, I broke my legs!!" I sat there for a second afraid to move until I realized I HAD TO, my cat was in the stroller and she wasn't making any noise... thankfully she was unharmed. She was traumatized but physically safe.
I fell because I was rushing. I was rushing because I had limited time to go for a walk. I was going for a walk around the lake because it's a huge part of my self-care and brings me happiness... In fact, somedays, it's the only thing that keeps me sane. If I am carrying anxiety in my body, it gets rid of it. It's my time to belly breath for a solid hour. It's my time to stare out at the water and see the reflection of the trees across it. It's my time to smell the leaves. It's my time to watch the birds, squirrels, ducks, geese, and chipmunks. It's my time to listen to music, books or podcasts. It's my time to think. It's just my sacred time. Also, my kitty has meltdowns if we don't get daily walks in. In fact, we walked 17 miles one day upon her wishes so it's her time too - stroller walks are our thang.
I was rushing and forcing self-care which is missing the whole point of self-care. And thus, ended up twisting my ankle (AGAIN!) and have a wicked bruise on the other knee and in this current state won't be able to go around the lake again before it starts snowing... and now I won't have this thing I desperately need, until my ankle and knee heal enough to not hurt. But winter is on the way...
So when I was asked -mere hours after I bit the dust- "Is there anything you can do when you feel defeated, depleted, overwhelmed, and over it?" It occurred to me that I bet a whole lot of us are feeling this way. The political climate, the hatred we are seeing in others, the lack of compassion going around. I feel everything. I am seeing the photos of the children running for their lives and it's a stab to the heart. And that's ON TOP of the stuff we're ALREADY carrying like our 9-5 jobs, daily chores, holiday chaos, lost love, lack of kinship, family feuds... Sometimes I feel like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I know you do too. Have you even made it to the voting poll yet?! Oh God, what's going to happen on today? Tomorrow? In the next 5? All things we worry about and understandably so. There's only so much we can take and yet we keep stacking it on our shoulders.
My bodyworker told me to slow down but I don't feel like I can because there's too much to do and the days are too short. This life is too short! I'm a one-woman show and If I don't do what needs to be done, it doesn't get done. I live alone so cooking and cleaning fall on my plate. I own my own business and run my own company and my travel schedule has been insane.. in fact, I've pretty much been on the road since mid-July. I have my senior parents to think about. Hundreds of emails and texts and hours of phone calls but someone has to respond to them... I have real shit to do and so do you. I know our to-do lists are the same. So when and how can we actually slow down?
Here we are rushing and forcing pleasure into our lives. And that is if you're getting any at all. But we all deserve pleasure, relaxation, and happiness. And I believe that proactive self-care can be more effective than reactive health care. If you want to be healthy and if you want your fur babies to be healthy YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Did you know that your negative emotions are literally toxic to your furbabies? Research proves that if you're angry, stressed, depressed, or filled with anxiety, it creates cortisol in your animals. A lot of cortisol can lead to tumors, tumors grow and turn into cancer. So your mental health is crucial to your animal companion's health. There is no such thing as too much self-care.