Despite being on this journey for nearly three years, life can intrude. And it did big time for me last month. I had been so careful about taking “me time” and maintaining self-care, and still, things spiraled out of control at a rapid rate. The more I tried to keep doing everything, the more things fell by the way side.
And the more stressed I became.
When I get like that, everything stresses me out. I started looking around and seeing other things I hadn’t kept up with, and anxiety got the best of me. It was all I could do to get up and get my words done for the day. Anything else was excruciating. And the more I freaked out. When it came time to write the blog, I couldn’t. There was nothing there. I was an absolute mess. Until I decided not to write one for September. Giving myself that permission was such a relief. It felt like a hundred tons was lifted off of me.
That’s when I gave myself permission to stop fretting out my lingering yoga injury, not keeping up with self-care, and not getting things marked off my ever-expanding To-Do list. I told myself it was fine to get my work done and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I could sit in the silence (which I find relaxing) and let my mind drift where it would. I could read my unwieldy TBR pile. I could find something fun to watch. The point was that I had to stop thinking that I could do it all. So what if I was handling everything fine weeks ago. Hell, even a few days before. I wasn’t then.
And that’s okay.
It happens. It could’ve been the alignments of the planets, a retrograde, the moon, or just something in my head that I did myself. It doesn’t matter why. It matters that I recognized it—albeit later than I like to admit. I did have a few freak out days, but I have family and friends who knew exactly what to say to help me see the issues. Once I did recognize what was going on, and once I did give myself those permissions, things sorted themselves out pretty quickly.
Really quickly, actually.
I haven’t yet gotten back to doing everything I was before, but I’m getting there. It just proves that no matter how much time we spend ensuring we take care of ourselves, things happen. Life happens. It starts small, so small in fact that we don’t even recognize that it happened. Then something else happens. Then another. And another. And another. It feels as if everything is going wrong and we have no grasp on anything that seemed easy before. Self-care isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s a forever situation we need to work on.
I let everything go except for my meditations. I asked myself what I needed, and it was the meditations. So, I kept up with them every day, and I believe that contributed to righting things.
But I’m proud of myself for taking the necessary steps that I needed. I’ve spent the last few weeks decorating for Halloween, something I’ve not done since 2014. I wanted to do it, and it used to be something I looked forward to every year. I look back on the nearly eight years when I didn’t care, and I see that there was so much that I clung to. I adhere to the mantra of: everything happens for a reason. So, I needed the anxiety-ridden, stressed-to-the-max September to be where I am now.
And it isn’t just the decorating that’s changed. I want to bake again. Something else I’ve not done in years!
Perhaps it isn’t just the trees that are shedding things now. Maybe I needed to shed or release something. I certainly feel different. I’m embracing this new change. Will it stay? Who knows. I’m not worried about that. Instead, I’m going to have fun with this and continue to get back to all of my self-care.
So, if you find that you had a good self-care program and it disappeared. It happens to everyone. It’s just part of taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. We all start back at step one numerous times. Just think of it as an opportunity to take what you’ve already learned and adjust things. We’ve already gone through the learning curve. Maybe it’s time to find something different. There are so many options for each of us. Give yourself permission to do nothing for a few days or even a week. Reset your mind and yourself. Anything is possible and within our grasp. We just have to want it.
This month’s song is: That Was Yesterday by Foreigner.
“The light burning within you is a far more accurate reflection of who you are than the stories you’ve been telling yourself.”
~ B. Grace Bullock