“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha
Life can be hectic. Sometimes we just have too much on our plates; life can thrust responsibilities and duties upon us that eat up our day, deadlines get suddenly crazy, or sometimes we’re the one driving ourselves.
I want to remind you that even on the busiest of days, that especially on the busiest of days, it’s important to find moments for yourself.
Even the smallest moments can be restorative.
But Nicole, I hear you say, you don’t understand! I’m just too busy…
My friend, if you’re too busy for even a few snatched moments you’re in real trouble! And the fact is, this frantic pace you’ve set yourself is an illusion – it pumps you full of stress and adrenalin, it fills you full of resentment, it pulls you out of the flow of life, and it leaves you broken in body and spirit.
If you want to be able to cope, even on the busiest of days, you need to find small moments just for you.
Here are some restorative moments to include in your life:
- Take a moment to feel the sun on your skin. Close your eyes and drink up the warmth and energy. Pull the sun’s blessings and power right into your body.
- Take a short time out and really enjoy a refreshing cold drink, or a nurturing warm one. No thoughts of work, no to-do lists. Just a few quite minutes of genuine respite.
- Go for a short walk. Walking gets us back in rhythm. It soothes the jagged edges, gets rid of some of the adrenalin, and clears our minds.
- A quick phone call or skype call to a friend or loved one. When I got stressed back in my corporate life I used to call one of my grandmothers, just to hear their caring voice, just to remind myself that I had a life outside all of the madness. Now I ring my sister. She’s always encouraging. She makes me laugh. She reminds me I can do this. *Note – it can be an equally restorative act to phone and support a friend.
- Eat lunch away from your desk. Go to a park, or the little cafe around the corner. Sneak into a booth somewhere and hide from the world for a while.
- Soak up the view. In the bus on the way to work, from your office window, from the kitchen sink, in the park outside the hospital – look for the beauty, feel the wind in your hair, hear the twitter of birds, see the dance of sunlight on water, or the kick of leaves with the gentle breeze. Anchor yourself in the now. Be aware of your surroundings and drink them in.
- Lose yourself in a book for a while. Books take us places that help us escape from the grind, drudgery and pressure of our everyday lives.
- Put your headphones on and give yourself the gift of a favourite song. Listen to every beat, every lyric, and every message. Let the music get right inside you.
- Find a few minutes each day to work on a craft, hobby or project. Carve out a little space in your life just for you and your interests. A little time often works better than a lot. A friend of mine is finally finishing a quilt she started for her son when he was born. He’s married now and expecting his first child! My friend started out allowing an hour, and found that in that hour she’d make tea, thumb through a magazine, let her mind wander. Now she gives herself ten minutes a day, right after breakfast. Ten minutes and all she does is quilt one small piece, by hand. In a short time she’s made huge progress because she’s applied energy consistently. And she deeply looks forward to her quilting time each morning, even thinking about how she will best use that time, in odd moments throughout her day.
You need to treat yourself well, especially when life stretches you. Don’t wait for a reason to be kind to yourself, don’t promise yourself a break as a reward for getting the job done. I know you, you’ll have your next mission booked in and the break will be forgotten, or you’ll cut corners on yourself to give your time to others, or other priorities.
Start with small moments. And build from there. Those small moments are life-saving, sanity-making, and best of all, they’ll help restore something magical in your soul.
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. ” ~ Lucille Ball