There are some weeks where I wonder, what the hell do I know about self-care?? Last week was one of those weeks. I felt like despite all my self-care talk, I was running on empty.
Work was hard. I mean real hard. We were short-staffed and everyone was spent. It was the type of week where my need for sugar was bordering on obsessive. And so yes, I ate a whole bag of sour patch kids and a box of nerds in one sitting. (Some of you are thinking, “Nerds? I didn’t even know those were still around.” Well they are, ok?!?) This of course, did not calm my stress or meet some inner need of mine. Instead I got super hyper like a toddler and then promptly crashed with a lovely combination of low energy and despair.
Positive thinking isn’t always gonna cut it. In fact (especially in high stress moments) when we only utilize positive thinking from our self-care toolkit and it inevitable fails us we can start to feel the makings of anxiety or overwhelm. We may feel even more of a failure because the positive thinking isn’t working. This can cause us to spiral.
That’s why we need game plans. Prepared before hand. When you look at the week ahead and it’s gonna be bleak, perhaps temporarily bleak, but bleak nonetheless, PREPARE.
These are the weeks, where (in my case) nutritious snacks need to be nearby and in abundance. These are the weeks, where processed sugar needs to stay far far away from me. Because I will eat it without thinking, crash, feel really gross, and become a monster.
You will have weeks like I just had, where you weren’t so good at staying on the self-care course. Dust yourself off and get back on the horse. A week of bad choices does not mean you’ve failed at life. Do you hear me? It means you had a rough week. Aim for a better week.
This week, I have a plan in place. I’ve got an abundance of nutritious goodies ready for before my sugar levels starts to drop. I’ve got some good books from the library, that are going to be a treat to read on my commute and lunch break. I’m going to meditate using Oprah and Deepak Choprah’s (FREE) 21-day medication course which starts tomorrow (FYI), and I’m going to dress up like Wonder Woman tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Halloween and I get to let my inner child come out without any repercussions because it’s Halloween. Allow yourself moments of the ridiculous so that you can snap out of the stressful moments. As caregivers we can get so focussed that we forget life is meant to be lived. Yes meds still need to get passed, patients need to be roomed and listened to, rules still need to be followed, we still have to work or parent, but we don’t have to stop having a life in the process.
I encourage you to allow yourself to get silly this week. What silly means for me and you might be quite different. But embrace the ridiculous. Because especially if you are experiencing a particularly tough week, it will snap you out of the mundane and wake you up. It will allow you to pause and remember you are ALIVE. You are not your job or the role you play. You are a uniquely you, and you are fascinating! You really are!
“You look ridiculous if you dance. You look ridiculous if you don’t dance. So you might as well dance.” -Gertrude Stein
Take care of YOU.