The Back Story
I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of caregivers and professionals who are dealing with high stress events in their lives. As I was teaching and listening to their stories, what came to light was the unyielding demands many have upon them.
When I asked one women what she loved to do that she can no longer do, she said: I loved to cook. You might be thinking, that is easy enough for her to do- you are wrong. This woman work is taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient throughout the day. Now you might be thinking, well she can cook when she gets home- wrong again. She comes home and takes care of her three children. Barely time to breathe. This, I am sad to say is the reality for many. Work all day in a demanding job, only to come home to a full evening of responsibilities.
When I responded, what I did NOT say was – you must find time for yourself. That is what we hear over and over again and frankly, I am sick of it. It is not helpful and leaves people feeling hopeless and unheard.
I asked her if she goes to the market to shop for food. She said yes.
I asked her if when she goes to the market could she go to the produce aisle and take a moment to look at the colors and textures of the fruit and then smell their aroma.
I went on to suggest a few other actions:
- To pick a piece of fruit that she had never had before and purchase it.
- To take a moment and walk by the flowers, look at the colors, and smell the aroma.
- When home to put on the cooking channel, even if she has no time to watch, she can hear the sounds and conversations in the background.
You get the picture? She did, and said yes she could and would do what I suggested. As she said it, I noticed her eyes were a bit brighter.
In other words, when at the market, be at the market. For this woman, that might be her only opportunity for her to enjoy what she loves- maybe not in the same way but still filling the well even just a bit. Think of it as taking a short vacation at the market!
Simplicity works. Simplicity is effective and simple opportunities occur throughout the day, every day.
This is the riot I want to incite. A riot of stopping the useless fluffy suggestions that are given to people who are dealing with high stress or dealing with daily health issues of their own to “take time for themselves.” Get clear- they do not have the time!
I am ready to take on and transform what we think self-care looks like. I want to teach people how to fill up bit- by-bit, drop-by-drop in a way that works for them. All it takes is a bit of willingness to consider the possibilities- and there are lots of them.
Hope to see you soon!