This is a stream of consciousness that no one asked for.
I was a B* (capital-B) over Christmas. Horrible. Really, really.
If you read through, know this - I am grateful for these pain points and for all of the reasons, privilege and ability that underwrites all of the opportunities for these frustrations. This is a peek into my own thought models and proof that even brats can have breakthroughs and that even burnout can be a tool for healing and progress.
I was tired.
There were 4 AM mornings - many of them, in a row. We had been staying up a little later in an effort to “create” time as a couple and “Santa” together.
I was working. And I didn’t want to.
Man, I love getting paid. I also like being needed. My job hits both of those nails squarely on the head. BUT. I felt resentment that I was working Christmas Eve and the 26th.
We had protected Christmas Day for just our little 5-some (including our baby dog) but that meant all of our visits were front loaded in the Holiday weekend and it amped up the stress and time constraints.
Miscellaneous life stuff.
We had a mouse. We had plumbing issues. We hosted parties. We cycled through various stages of snotty sickness, coughs and stiff necks.
I majored in Communication. I love psychology. I study human relationships and still - STILL - I am learning how to communicate.
How do I communicate with a 4 year old in the ways that build trust and foster all the good things you want another human to know and experience - while keeping them alive? Ditto that but for a 1 year old? And with my husband? While not sounding stern and short and loud all.the.damn.time.
Oh, what a brat I was.
I am ashamed that I was such an ingrate.
I received a gift. A thoughtful and generous gift that I’d actually previously commented on and yet - I hated it. I thought it was a “family” gift and not a “me” gift. Because I’m entitled to a “me” gift and they weren’t a mind-reader? Please. Self-pity. Is there anything as distasteful and ingratitude? Not in my book.
On top of that
I was hateful at myself. There’s no need to sugar coat it. I know better. I knew better. I felt like I just couldn’t shake it.
Here’s the crack in the foundation and the first step to fixing it.
Like a Maslow’s hierarchy, there is a hierarchy of self-care. To be your whole best self, you have to care for your whole self.
The largest, most fundamental need is physical. I had stepped away from my routines and my rituals and flat out stopped eating well, drinking enough water, intention setting, journaling, even my skincare. I neglected the basics in the throws of frenzy and sickness.
The best medicine for me, in that week, was sleep. Now, hear me, sleep is not always a choice but it can be a priority.
Next time you feel behind or out of sync, consider your quality of sleep and your sleep hygiene. This is not my area of expertise but these resources have recommendations that worked for me:
Dr. Hollie Granato’s advice: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkTxZ7oHJAv/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet
A guided meditation: https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations > Body Scan for Sleep
For kiddos: https://www.janetlansbury.com/tag/sleep/
Next come the other major puzzle pieces. Hydrate. Move. Green food. Wash my face. Stretch.
The next level up on the Whole Self-Care pyramid are emotional and mental needs.
With my weary mind and body, I didn’t put up much of a fight as my wits made their escape and I defaulted into letting my reactive thoughts and emotions dictate my behavior. The truth is, I don’t need to be taken care of. I am responsible - solely responsible - for my experiences. My emotions are not dependent on anyone else’s behavior or any circumstance and in fact, I was generating the result that I thought I would.
See, there are:
Circumstances: Facts that are provable in court. Circumstances can trigger thoughts.
Thoughts: Are CHOICES. One sentence interpretations about the circumstances. Thoughts drive emotions.
Emotions: Are physical vibrations in our body caused by our thoughts. Emotions determine our actions.
Actions: Can include reactions, actions and inaction. Actions determine our results.
Results: What we wind up with. Results ALWAYS PROVE OUR THOUGHTS.
These are the universal truths that underlie Whole Self-Care.
Aligning with what you want - your intention - with what you choose to think and do is not ever automatic. Which means it takes effort and time. The good news is, it’s possible and it gets easier with practice.
Answer me this:
Are you into self-care? Have you ever tried self-care on an emotional level? Send me an email or post in our group (therealcrewgroup.com).
With love, joy & gratitude,
firstname.lastname@example.org | therealcrewgroup.com
PS - If you’ve ever been a brat and had to do this kind of soul-searching, hit our private FB group and let me know what worked? How did it turn out?