By Liz, loving the summer weather that’s finally here
Every now and then, we all need to take it a little easy and be kind to ourselves. Whether we’ve been dealing with something that’s been tough on us, working ourselves too hard, or simply feeling the need to take a break, it’s really important to pay attention to those signs.
I used to get this message in different forums–self-help books, my social media feed, yoga classes–and intellectually I’d agree with it, but in practice, I could never really do it. I always felt guilty/lazy/insert insult here, and I would spin my wheels trying to do “productive” things, but never make much progress. Which always made me feel worse. And then I would swear I would do things differently the next time.
A couple weeks ago the opportunity arose for that whole “being kind to myself” thing. And this time, I challenged myself to put this into practice.
First, I took a week or so off from writing. I just didn’t have the energy. In theory, writing makes me feel better, but I couldn’t get my brain back into the story enough that it was flowing. So I gave myself some grace and took a break.
I focused on doing some mindless things that made me feel better. For me, that’s watching Gilmore Girls and Grace & Frankie. Both shows make me feel like I’m hanging out with friends and best of all, they make me laugh. Also, crime shows – which can help me get the juices flowing for my own writing.
I took a lot of walks with the doggies and listened to some podcasts. My current obsessions are Glennon Doyle’s We Can Do Hard Things and — how cool is this — a new one with Scott Patterson, who played Luke on the Gilmore Girls. It’s called I Am All In and goes through each episode of the beloved show and features cast members and really fun stuff. It’s been so fun to listen.
I made lots of tea, journaled, and finally went back to yoga. And I did a little shopping–trying not to let that be my go-to coping strategy, but old habits die hard, I guess.
And I’m happy to say, it worked. I’m back at my laptop, working on the next Cat Cafe book. And even though I’m slogging through the middle slowly and painfully, I’m working it out and keeping at it. And it feels pretty good.
So this is my PSA – if you need to take some time to heal something, or simply take a much-needed break, do it. Listen to yourself and find the things that give you joy, even if they seem like a colossal waste of time. They’re not. It’s all part of the healing.
Readers, how do you take care of yourself? Leave a comment.