When Self-Care Wears Thin. How to "be" without the busy.
Updated: Oct 9
If you are tempted to stop reading now I understand. You might be thinking he's just another talking head telling me what to do! Well maybe, however I have been going through it too, and at times not very successfully as my demanding internal voices gets the better of me from time to time. Then, I pause and smile to myself and remember what I discuss with my clients and muse to myself "if they could see me now" struggling with this stuff.
Cat-667909_1920 Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay
The promise from the talking heads was that if you take care of yourself and those who are important to you in lock-down the everything will be magically OK and you'll feel better. Well I'm calling it...there is no magic, it is hard work. Sometimes lately in spite of the the things we do to feel better these do not feel as satisfying as they once did. Or the good feelings are fleeting and the stress and anxiety seem to quickly overwhelm us again.
So if home exercise, getting more sleep, focusing on your important relationships, baking, gardening, home improvements or what ever list of "things" you have been doing to cope with covid-19 lock-down aren't working so well for you lately and have caused you to pause. Take heart, your experience of your current situation is hard won and just may be the key to what you do or don't do next. Maybe there is truth in less being more, especially in times of crisis.
Currently the challenges we are facing individually and collectively are immense. In-spite of the best efforts of Governments to help, and all the effort we as individuals we are making to just get on with our lives we may be not feeling any better.
So now we may have come to realise that self-care is not a cure-all! What do we do now then I hear you ask? I recently read an article by Erica Wollerman, she mentions that coping skills and self-care and wellness strategies are helpful but often we don't appreciate or understand the depth of the problems we may be facing and how much effort is required to change ourselves. Currently, she says the real problem is that our lives and our situation is not sustainable for one reason or another.
So what has seven months of uncertainty, constant change and restrictions taught us? Maybe our individual and collective expectations are are impossible to live up to. Maybe what we are expecting is unsustainable and is contributing to our suffering, emotions upset, and stress.
Could we then re-frame our internal conversation, expectation and effort and give ourselves a collective break. Seeing this as a time of huge change that none of us were expecting, reminding ourselves not that something is wrong and needs to be fixed with busyness but that it might be time to try something different. A time to pause and make a different choice. What would you gain by giving up the busy? What would that look like for you today, this week or this month? What is sustainable for you?
Maybe a chance to pause, come back to the present moment and just be.
If you are tired, feeling stressed or don't know what to do, remember you are not alone (even if it feels like you are) ring; Mensline 1300 78 99 78, Lifeline 13 11 14, Kidshelpline 1800 55 1800 or me 0431 212 099. There is always someone there to listen 24 hours a day 7 days a week.