Take a deep breath

Calm your mindI have to say that yesterday was a banner productivity day. My house looked like a bomb went off there was so much clutter and disarray. That may not phase you, and that’s ok, but for me, it’s no bueno. If my environment isn’t peaceful, calm and organized, it’s likely to leave me feeling scattered. Unable to start anything because I don’t know where to begin. That’s why I normally keep my house show ready. It may not be sparkling clean, but it’s picked up. I’m a believer in “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

But I’ve noticed that my mind feels scattered more of the time than I’d like to admit, and I’m not a fan. I find myself craving quiet time. Down time to do things that make me happy, bring me energy. Maybe it’s hanging out with my husband, painting, writing, or reading. As I’ve gotten older, I need that time more and more.

If you’re a student of mindfulness, to any degree, you understand that slowing our brain down, resting it, actually increases our productivity, our ability to process cognitively, and can increase our creativity, to name just a few benefits. I find when I don’t have time to slow down, I end up with frenetic energy…frazzled, overwhelmed. I crave time. So why don’t I make that that time part of my normal day?

It’s not a priority. Well, actually it is, but somehow I let other priorities win. Right now it’s cleaning, organizing, rearranging, wrapping, decorating (ok, maybe not too much on that last one, but just saying…I do have the nagging feeling I should be). But of all those things I listed, none have the benefit that taking down time does. When I take that time, I feel peaceful, recharged.

What happens is that I don’t prioritize self-care. And I know I’m not alone in that. Can I get an amen? But I’m learning that if I skip out on it, if I don’t prioritize self-care, my energy for everything else might be there, but it’s distracted energy. So, basically, I’m phoning it in. Going through the motions. I’ve read it’s like pouring from an empty cup. If your own cup is empty, you can’t pour out to other people.

The temptation at this time of the year is to skip our self-care, our down time, our moments of mindfulness. My ask of you, and of me, is that instead of skipping, to make it one of your top priorities. Spending time connecting and taking care of yourself will prepare you, enable you, to take better care of others. And we do a lot of that all year long.

You are amazing, you matter, you make a difference…take time to honor yourself, to rest, to do what makes you happy and restores you…pamper yourself. Postpone tasks in order to be. You can do it, you are brave.

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