If you’re anything like me, all the noise, mess, and chaos going on in the world has me stressed and overwhelmed. So much so, that I haven’t been as diligent about taking better care of myself as I’d hoped. Most days I’m doing good just to get the basics done, never mind anything even remotely resembling self-care. And I feel so damned helpless about all the pain and suffering happening damn near everywhere!
I recently saw a post that said:
“It can be overwhelming to witness/experience/take in all the injustices of the moment. The good news is that *they’re all connected*. So, if your little corner of work involves pulling at one of the threads, you’re helping to unravel the whole damn cloth.” (Tweeted by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca @LadyOfSardines, 2/23/22.)
She’s right, you know. All of us, whenever we do any kind of good work in the world, are helping to unravel the threads of injustice, war, famine, disease … ALL OF IT! So, keep on doing what you’re doing, Sis. It does help.
Having said that, we’re no good to anyone if we don’t take care of ourselves, first. After all, no one can pour from an empty vessel. So, here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for your daily battle with the forces of evil:
(Ok that was a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.)
- Awaken with Gratitude: When you first open your eyes for the day, before your feet even hit the ground, give thanks to whomever or whatever your Higher Power is. Whether you say a prayer or list the things for which you’re grateful, let your first thoughts of the day be filled with thanksgiving. It’s a great way start off on a positive note.
- Drink Water: Water is life. Let the first substance to cross your lips be at least a sip of water (but preferably more, of course).
- Stretch and Move: You may not have time for a full morning workout. Or your schedule may only allow workouts later in the day. But if you can at least stretch for a few minutes and move all your limbs, you’ll get your blood and endorphins flowing. Stretching is a great way to wake up those sleepy muscles!
- Speak Life to Yourself: I know it sounds corny but saying affirmations to yourself before you encounter others helps to center your mind and focus your thoughts. You don’t have to say affirmations, per se. Maybe just give yourself a pep talk. Or look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself. Listen. Depending on what’s facing you that day, these might be the only positive words you hear about yourself all day. Besides, you’ll be better able to face other people, such as your spouse, kids, boss, coworkers, etc. after you’ve pumped yourself up a bit.
- Play Your Theme Song: This one is optional and is really only effective if you’re into music. Take a few minutes and think about which song (or songs) get you fired up to face your day. Or, and this is my favorite, think of yourself as the main character in an action movie. What song would you want played every time your character came on screen? Play that song in the morning. Maybe you can’t play it until you’re on your morning commute. Even better. That way you’ll walk into that job, meeting, classroom, whatever with that awesome earworm in your head to kick start your day.
None of these tips are particularly earth shattering. I wouldn’t even call them “life hacks”, as the popular term goes. They’re just small behavioral changes that, when done with consistency, become habits that can make it easier to deal with … well, everything.
Oh, and it goes without saying that you should try to get as much restorative sleep as possible.
I know, Sis. I know. You haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since the Obama Administration. None of us have. But you should at least try. I find that I sleep better if the last thing I do ISN’T scrolling through social media or emails before bed. Do whatever works for you, but you need to get more sleep.
And drink more water. Again. Goes without saying.
So, give some or all these tips a try and let me know if they help. In the meantime, be well, Sister. And remember that you deserve all good things!!