How are you feeling this Friday? Although it doesn’t always feel like it these days, the last day of the workweek is usually synonymous with lightness and fun. Even if your schedule is packed with meetings, the knowledge that you’re about to break free for two whole days is usually cause for celebration, and a great big exhale. Even if you’ve got projects galore and other responsibilities to tend to, at least they feel a little bit more on your terms. Plus, you can make time for a little relaxation, so you can start next week totally refreshed, right? Don’t worry, I hear you laughing…refreshed on Monday? What is that? It is possible, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s not only about Monday.
This weekend’s mindfulness challenge should reap benefits in both the short and long term. But before we start, let’s get a few points out on the table. Things I do realize include: 1) you have a lot to do, 2) you are not looking forward to every single thing you have to do this weekend, 3) relaxation usually takes a back seat to responsibility in go-getters such as yourself. You gotta do what you gotta do. However, as we discussed earlier this week, sometimes taking care of you is what you gotta do.
I’ve written before about the importance of letting yourself get well when you’re sick or injured, but this week was more about self care of the preventative variety. As a person with a long history of burning the candle at both ends until the flame’s got nowhere left to go, I speak from experience on this one. Mindfulness has helped me get better at listening to my body’s signals early on, and getting the rest and time out that I need to avoid the full crash and burn. Better yet, I’ve made taking care of myself with regular exercise, quality time with people I love, and yes, writing, a priority in my life. They are commitments to myself, and consequently, to the people and activities with which I fill the remainder of my time.
This weekend, find some time to dial it down a notch. Like really, truly, take a break. Take a few breaths and ask your body what it needs. If you fall asleep while doing so, you have your answer. If you get antsy and feel the need to run for it, you have your answer. If you start thinking about what’s for lunch, you have your answer. And so on…
We spend a lot of time letting other people tell us what they need from us, and sometimes, it’s important that we listen. But when you’re totally run down, you’re not going to be able to do much more than listen. Take better care of you, and you’ll be better for others. And while you’re at it, you’ll be showing them how it’s done, with a little instruction via role modeling in Self Care 101.
The world isn’t getting any easier to live in these days, but we still have the power to choose kindness, both to each other and ourselves.
Take care. :)
Photo credit: Lili Popper