Last week I got unusually busy with 8 extra one-on-one coaching calls and write ups to do on top of my normal workload, two workshops, a couple of parents evenings and sick children at home. At first I was super-proud of myself: Look at me, I can do this easy-peasy. See, people, what a mega-efficient person I am! (Yes, I actually boasted to my friends along these lines. Embarrasing).
Well it took about 4 days to discover what rocky ground I was on. This blithe disregard for what I needed to keep on top of my energy came back to bite me and I was reminded (once again) that I am a mere mortal!
So I’ve been on the road to ‘filling my well’ again. First of all lots of rest. Then delicious snatched moments with my book (Cloud Atlas – loving it). Movie-nights at home with the children and Guy. Then going on a day-trip to Gloucester on Saturday (these family moments always feed me). Then today I did a lot of collaging which I love. Tomorrow I will take myself off for a solo date (a walk, cafe and writing probably). I wouldn’t have to do so much normally but I’m in catch-up mode!
Making sure you fill your well is vital. Neglecting yourself is like trying to drive your car on empty. What lovely thing have you done for yourself today? Make sure you do at least one thing to treat yourself – give yourself some space (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to spend quality time with you and you. It’s worth its weight in gold and ensures you won’t crash in the way I did this week.
I’ve spent the last two days in bed due to heavy cold. For that reason this isn’t a long post but I just wanted to share how it occurs to me, as I take care of myself as best I can, that sometimes we need to be concious of the pendulum-swing of things. What I mean by this is, that if we really push ourselves over a project or through a tough time, it’s extremely important to follow that up with a pendulum swing the other way – to self-care and recovery – as soon as possible afterwards.
After the Advent Fair a couple of weeks ago it would have been better if I’d allowed myself more than the one day I gave myself off. Swing, swing. Oh, well, now the cold is making sure I get plenty of ‘me’ time! Next year I’d like to see if I can get it without the illness though!
I’m noticing my energy levels are really fluctuating in these few days post-Fair. I’m monitoring myself closely and allowing myself breaks whenever I can but I also realise that number one on my list of energy-drainers is dehydration.
Water, water everywhere but not a drop I drink!
Here’s a few facts about water:
- Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, we would die in a few days.
- The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%.
- A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic maths, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen.
- Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.
- An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. That’s a pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through the tap or bottle water.
I’ve never quite got to the bottom of what a good hydration routine is for me but most successful is making sure I have fresh water in the car at all times. It’s a perfect time to stock up. And once I start drinking I find I can’t stop. It seems you never know just how thirsty you are until you take that first gulp.
Happiness has very strong links to health – of course. If we feel strong and energised it’s so much easier to see the positive in things. Water is a very good place to start.
It’s only 8.30pm but I’ve hit a wall. Any thoughts I had about doing more for the school Advent Fair will now have to wait until tomorrow. Sometimes the only way to raise the ‘ol energy is to admit there’s nothing more to do than snooze! Early bed for me. Night night. X
I had great plans today to make some major strides in the organisation of the school’s Christmas Market – something I do every year now. But it didn’t really happen. I noticed that my energy wasn’t there for it. So I went back to TLC mode because I know well enough now that if I tried to force it I would have just ended up making mistakes, feeling depleted and getting snappy with the kids.
OK now, confession time. I watched half of ‘Sound of Music’! Inspired by that clip in Antwerp Station yesterday I found myself drawn to rekindle the magic of that movie. I ate my lunch and sang along. I always feel a twinge of guilt if I do something like this but I know it does me a world of good and has me far more available and productive in the long run because I’m feeling filled up.
I was glad of that extra strength a little later when I took Julia to the dentist and found out that she had to have her baby-teeth canines out! Poor girl, she got four injections in her mouth. I held her hand and averted my eyes!
We did have a laugh later when it was all over, though, because this is what she looked like:
Don’t worry – the white things aren’t her teeth – they’re cotton wool balls!
Today the children went back to school. Ahhh – time to myself!
I so value having moments absolutely alone in the house. This morning I had to let myself read my book a little, lie in a bath after the gym and just breathe out a bit. It did me the power of good.
After a stressful half-term and the worry about the preparation for my talk, I realise I am in the ‘Comfort’ stage of the Comfort-Nurture-Action scale. This is such a vital stage along the road to meaningful and productive action, I find. If I don’t feel I’ve taken care of myself, really listened to what I need, then I get burnt out, tired and often run around in circles feeling busy but achieving very little.
Never underestimate the power of a bath and a good book!
New moon yesterday – oww-woooo!
I notice that I’ve been trying to cram a lot in this week and this is having me lose myself a little. It seems to me it’s a sure sign that I’m over-dosing on ‘stuff’ and getting into my head about things when I cease to make my own bread. What a great measure for the future:
no homemade bread = time to quieten down and get grounded!
Where did I go? Down a technological black hole!
I’m sure you’ve been here – sucked in by an issue with a computer and unable to claw yourself back to the real world. Last night I took this to an extreme – up to 1am trying to sort out an issue I’m having migrating this blog to a new more whizzy version – then unable to get to sleep fretting that I’d mangled everythng, until 4am. Today I feel like I’ve just stepped off the plane from New Zealand. Deeply tired and not of this planet.
I was talking to my friend Kelly in Canada today about the levels of anxiety we can get ourselves into:
- Level 1 – the originating issue (for me it was “help! I think I’ve lost some vital data!)
- Level 2 – the beating yourself up layer
- Level 3 – the berating yourself for beating yourself up layer
- Level 4 – the beating yourself up for losing sleep over berating yourself for beating yourself up layer
“Oh what a tangled web we weave”!
Time to go back to my recent blog 6 antidotes to beating myself up and let myself crawl back out of the labyrinth – starting with Forgiving Myself, moving on to Nurturing Myself (getting more sleep in!), and moving to Putting it into Perspective.
Kelly said: “Well this is the kind of issue your Future Self will have!” How true and heartening in a funny sort of way. The potential outage of the blog (and what I felt was the potential for letting down my subscribers) IS a new problem – born out of my personal expansion. If I wasn’t in the process of expansion this issue wouldn’t have arisen. I love the perverse rightness of that!
So my uplifter for today? Well I suppose it’s right back to celebrating the knocks for the wonderful growth that it brings. (My Future Self is cheering for that I as I write!).
I know not everyone loves Nike but the message in this ad sums this all up well.
It’s been a day that’s had me wondering why I got so ‘hooked’ last night at the parents’ evening. It seems to me there’s some great learning here for me – not only around compassion (for others and myself), but also around not giving my power away.
I’ve heard the parable in this video before but it’s an apt reminder for me to be careful where I put my energy.
I’m tired and wired. I always feel a bit tense after parent’s evenings at school for some reason. It’s something about the melting pot of different (oft stringent) points of views. It feels like a tightrope walk. Once false move and it could get bloody!
I was going to write about an interesting talk I’ve seen on humans’ ability to manufacture happiness but now I’m all knotty so I’ll leave that til another time. Instead I think I’ll just sit here in bed for a while and sip my chamomile tea, eat my 2 ginger biscuits and be grateful. It seems like the best way to loosen some of those knots.
- For the glorious weather we’ve been having
- For our wonderful babysitter – Lizzy
- For the melting pot of people that is our school (and the opportunities for personal growth therein!)
- For ginger biscuits and chamomile tea
- For this blog
- For you