It’s a rainy Thursday.
We have had days of significant rainfall. Windy, thunderstorms, hail. It’s the recipe for a cozy day indoors.
Most often we don’t get to participate in the relaxation instinct. We have jobs to go to, chores to finish, things to do. Rest is just that elusive thing only a fraction of people get to do, right?
I think one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other (other than compassion – which will always be #1 in my opinion) is the opportunity to rest.
If you see a parent juggling the thousands of hours and dozens of schedules – offer to help with laundry one evening. Or a couple hours of watching the kids so she and her spouse (or she alone if a single parent) can get out of the house and breathe. Or take the kids somewhere else, allowing the rarity of a nap! Or a bath! Or silence!
If you notice your significant other is carrying stress, or fighting sickness, or maybe not exhibiting any outward signs of weariness, but you know how much he or she does and how much is on his or her plate and you know that they probably never take time for themselves without being forced…force them (gently, of course) to stop. To do nothing. To sit, to shut off the mind, to lay aside the list of things that need to be done and just…be.
If your person is an introvert, give him or her time alone if that is how they best rejuvenate. If your introvert still wants your company, then just sit beside them. Watch something mindless. Put on relaxing music and read in the same room. Take the challenge to do as little as possible. Even if for only 30 minutes. Longer if you can.
If you are a person who needs the care, the gift of rest. Take it. Even if someone else can’t gift if for you, do it for yourself.
Give yourself grace if the dishes aren’t done or the laundry isn’t put away. Ignore the dirt on your wood floors or carpet (try your best – I know that’s hard!). Let it sit for one more day. One more hour. Escape to the space you feel free and unencumbered. Whether that’s a closet, a bathtub, a car, outdoors, by a lake/river/stream/ocean, in the hills, mountains.
I realize if you’re like me and the mountains are your ultimate therapy and you don’t live near them, that you can’t just go whenever your heart needs to. So until you can, find a good substitute. If you’re like me, keep photos close by and until you can get back to your land, do your next best thing to relax.
The point is….we need to self-care.
If you think this comes from someone who does it well….oh….that’s just hilarious, honestly. Don’t look to me for an example. I am trying, though. Typing this out, encouraging those I care about, it helps me eventually circle back to myself. Some days anyway.
The rest of the time, I am pretty blessed to have others in my life force me to take my own medicine whenever possible. I am not without a support system and there isn’t a day that goes by with breath in my lungs that I don’t give thanks and praise for being so blessed.
I invite you to add just one thing on your “to-do” list this week or weekend:
However you need.
However best for you.
For whatever duration you are able.
Please take that time for yourself.
I know first hand the consequence that comes when you ignore that need for your mind, body and soul.
It’s not a good outcome and it can be avoided.
Grace for yourself. Grace for others.
Grace for that which comes from being a human.
What are your go-to ways to treat yourself?
(Treat yo’ self…..where my Parks and Rec people at??)
Share with me if you have a moment. We may give each other good ideas to try for next time.