Welcome to 2020! Whether you started it by enjoying a desperately needed extra hour of sleep, took the night shift for some much-needed cash, or popping up at first light to get your new year’s Yoga on, 2020 began with promise. And then we turned on the news, and it felt like instead of welcoming in the new year, we were welcoming in the apocalypse.
I know it’s only January 7th, but it is already time to take a breath before the first blush of optimism is thoroughly bludgeoned by a pervading sense of doom. I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to be productive and useful when I’m overwhelmed. It’s time to practice my unique brand of self-care. It might be time for you to do some serious self-care too.
While I love spa days and hot springs vacations, self-care for me often starts with doing things for other people. So, I’m looking at donations to help the people and animals most impacted by the staggeringly massive bushfires in Australia. So far, I’ve seen two organizations that look legit and useful: Australian Red Cross and International Fund for Animal Welfare. I’m less sure how to help with the flooding in Indonesia or the earthquakes in Puerto Rico, but I’m open to suggestions.
The second step in most of my self-care plans is to get small tasks done. I don’t know about you, but I feel a warm, glowing feeling of accomplishment from doing daily tasks, such as laundry or paying my bills. Excel spreadsheets make me happy. My husband and I high-five each other when we pay our rent because that’s another month settled. Even writing a short blog post urging people to breathe helps – so, here I am.
If I have the luxury of time (I know, I know, I need to make the time), I will try a meditation. I’ve just started the practice after several failed attempts, but I’m hopeful that it will help me find focus one of these days. If I’m able to put off work, I might take a quick trip to the marina or the beach. The desert is remarkable for focus, but it’s a drive I can’t always find the time to enjoy.
After all of that, I might start to feel the tension ebb enough to focus on creative work. Stress is not a creative environment for me, so I can’t jump into working on a script when my mind is racing with a million other thoughts. But when I get a handle on them, writing on longer-form projects can also feel like a victory.
How about you? Do you have any sure-fire self-care tips? Feel free to share them in the comments!
(And now I’ve seen the news. I have a feeling we’ll be talking about self-care a lot in the coming weeks.)