I came across an article a few weeks ago (link below) that seemed to say exactly how I’ve been feeling the past few weeks: it’s time for me to check-out. Let me explain.
When the whole world came to a stand-still a few months ago, many of us did what we always do – put on a brave face, collect our resources, make a plan, and trudge on in the face of adversity. We fell, we got back up again. We saw a need, we served. We ached, we put on a band-aid and got on with it. This is what was expected and valued. Our society both appreciates and rewards those who keep hold of the reigns during a time of crisis, continuing to take care of others and help maintain the closest sense of normalcy possible. And this is important – because we are nourished by validation and recognition for our efforts.
But, what about the classic airline safety advice about, where there is turbulence, getting a mask and putting it on yourself before helping others? (haha, doesn’t mask have a whole new meaning these days??!! I digress….). How have you addressed your own need for safety, nurturance, and healing in the last six months? Perhaps you are a master self-nurturer and have regularly responded to your mind and body’s need for care and, if so, I applaud you!! Because this is not a natural human response in crisis. Why else do the flight attendants have to remind us each and every time they do the in-flight safety presentation? Because it’s just NOT a no-brainer!
Friends, we have all hit the same turbulence. Through these blog posts over the past 12 weeks, I have encouraged you to check-in with yourself and have provided suggestions for connecting with your feelings, managing your thoughts, focusing on what is within your control. We have talked about strategies for staying strong, staying positive, and staying healthy. It is my sincere hope that these emails have been a source of hope and resilience to you in this turbulent storm.
And just as it’s vital to check-in with ourselves about our feelings, thoughts, and situation, it’s also important to check-out once in a while. Have you intentionally carved out time in your schedule to just do nothing, be non-productive, expect nothing of yourself? Some people may mistake this for being lazy, or unmotivated. I think the difference lies in your intention, your goal. Just as a farmer allows a field to lie fallow for a season or more in order to allow it to rest and rejuvenate and renew it’s ability to produce a crop, so must we lay fallow for a time, once in a while, in order to resume – even increase – our productivity.
This weekend, I’m checking-out for a few days with intention to focus on myself and my family. I’m going to play and be goofy and let go of the need to DO for a while. And I encourage you to carve out some time for yourself, with intention, to just be, whenever and however it feels right for you. Not to do, or to act, or to produce, or to solve, but just be. Maybe do a little breathing (you’ll be breathing anyway, so why not make it intentional ) and intentionally breathe in serenity, breathe out struggle. Breathe in being, breathe out doing.
Give yourself permission to check-out for a while.
I’ll check-in with you next week,
1. 6 self-care steps for a pandemic – always important, now essential. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/6-self-care-steps-for-a-pandemic-always-important-now-essential-2020041619563