Some months have a theme; this month has definitely been running on empty. Now I don’t mean to be sexist about this but it does seem to me more common with women; mums mainly. (To be fair I probably see more women than men, lack of fuel very definitely isn’t confined to one sex or gender).
As you know when I talk to people we look across their life to see how it is affecting them physically; because our bodies are the physical manifestation of our lives. Think of the metaphors we use “weight of the world on our shoulders”, “pain in the butt”, “pi**ed off”; you would be surprised how often it is an accurate description of life at the moment. Especially the pain in the butt, do you have one in your life?
I see people struggling, in pain or dysfunction getting annoyed with themselves because they are not coping well and simultaneously demanding perfection from themselves. Frequently they are taking care of everyone else’s needs and totally ignoring their own.
Parents of children of all ages; plus or minus elderly relatives, difficult or stressful work situations, moving house, unsupportive relationships. All of these will contribute to pain and difficulty.
Life, in a nutshell.
When I ask what does the person do for themselves I am often greeted with a blank look; or “I don’t have time for that” I ask people if they have a creative pursuit, or an exercise regime, do they go and have time with friends? When was the last time they laughed?
The other layer is do you eat properly? sleep well? hit the bottle a bit hard? Exercise a little? Plus what medication do you take?
The common factor is often cited as time; as in not enough.
I am not underestimating how difficult it is when there are so many demands on our time, but it really is about priority. Whose needs are the most important? Parents of young children (and frequently older children as well) are the lynch pin in the household. Life doesn’t seem to function without them; parents notice everything and do everything and wonder why they are drained dry at the end of the day. How about giving the children some responsibility?…….
Would you expect a car to run without petrol or electricity?
You actually don’t need lots of time to nurture yourself, snippets here and there will do, a small, regular drip feed of something that makes your heart lift. Creative pursuits are great for this, mindful and slow. Something you can pick up and put down easily, being outside going for a walk soothing and mindful.
Trying to eat regularly and as healthily as you can manage; getting some sleep. Taking note of whether you are a lark or an owl and trying to manage your day around that.
But above all not giving yourself a hard time about what you aren’t managing, look at what you are doing and give yourself a pat on the back.
Surely you have time for that?