I slump on to the sofa and let out a heavy sigh. My boyfriend glances over his laptop at me, “you ok?”
“Yeah, just…” I don’t know the words, so I choose “tired.” He smiles in a way that says, hang in there, and pauses to see if I’ll say more.
I open my laptop and the conversation ends. I don’t need to say any more. He knows. Me being tired, is me doing too much.
Taking on too much is something I’ve always been really good at.
Just like everyone else, I’m a work in progress.
The light of the laptop glares at me. I see the folder with my half-written blog post, my photos that need editing, my posts which need writing, my emails that need answering. I wonder where to start.
I have three jobs. I have my Wellness Coaching, I work as a Manager for an interior production business and I’m a trainee Kickboxing Instructor currently working as an assistant.
I love all of these jobs in different ways and I’m grateful to have them in my life. I love pushing myself in various ways. I’m constantly learning about what I’m good at and what I need to work on. I push myself outside of my comfort zone and gain new confidence all the time. I’m learning how to stick up for myself. How to choose my battles. How to let things go when I need to. I love the constant evolution of my life.
The downside is that I can easily teeter on the edge of doing too much. Some weeks it’s like that. I look at my diary and tell my boyfriend I’ll look forward to 7:30 on Friday night. This will be the first opportunity to sit down and spend some quality time with him. Usually this ends up being an early night’s sleep.
So, yes, sometimes my energy crashes and I need an even earlier night than normal (I already go to bed at 9pm most nights!). I catch myself getting frustrated. How did I get to this point of exhaustion? I stick with my self-care routines. Then I remember that this is life. It’s messy. I have different energy at different times in the day, different times of the month and different seasons of the year. I am not superwoman. Perfection is not what I aim for. I strive to be the best version of me and sometimes that is doing lots and sometimes it’s quality time with a loved one or time to myself.
I even allow myself a sense of satisfaction. In the past, my crashes were bad. I didn’t listen to my body. I pushed through. My crashes were harder. I woke up exhausted. I went to work exhausted. I did workouts exhausted. I met up with friends exhausted. It went on for years. It’s no way to live life.
In all of this, I am learning the real value of small moments each day. I am learning to enjoy the moment I open my eyes and have some quiet moments to myself. I am learning to enjoy the moment I commit to a workout and how I progress through it. I am learning to love the time I set aside for meditation and creating the energy I want to feel. I am learning to find the small moments at work where I can make a real difference to someone else’s day with a word of encouragement or support that I know they need. I am learning to shift my energy just before my boyfriend gets home from work so that I am in a place of patience and love rather than tired and drained. This one is huge for me. I spent so much of my twenties and thirties giving all my energy to work and obligations and leaving nothing left for the people that meant the most to me.
Now I try to find as many opportunities in every day to find fulfilment.
People say “tomorrow is a new day”. It suggests that if things aren’t going to plan, you should put today behind you and start afresh tomorrow.
The more I live in every moment, the more I realise that I can turn any week, any day and any moment around. We have the power to shift each moment into an opportunity for something good. I don’t say “tomorrow is a new day.” Life’s too short for that. I say “Now is a new moment”. I don’t want to ever look back at my life and say I played too small. I didn’t show up.
My fingers linger over the keys of my laptop for a moment. I hesitate and then close it.
“Hey sweetie, you know that walk we’ve been wanting to do?”
My boyfriend looks up from his work.
“Do you have time to do it now?”
I see his eyes light up and I know that the shift in this simple action will help this moment, the rest of my day and the rest of my week. I will get everything that is important done when I have the right energy to do it. That’s when I’m at my best.
Find mindfulness in small moments throughout your day.
- If you share a hug with a loved one, take a few deep breaths. Feel their breathing. Feel their love. Feel your own love. Don’t rush it. Actually enjoy it.
- If you’re eating a meal, chew your food properly. Put your fork down and enjoy the mouthful you have rather than planning your next mouthful. What does it taste like? What’s the texture? How will it nourish you?
- If you’re juggling an email, a spreadsheet, a question from a colleague and a text you’ve just received, let it go. Pause. Be present for your colleague. When that’s done, be present for ONE thing next. I’d rather complete one thing on my to do list properly than attempt five things half-heartedly. Live life this way and everything will change.
- Overwhelm happens when we think we have to have the answer for everything all at once. The truth is you only need to find the answer for one thing at a time. Whatever you’re working on, focus on that one thing. The rest will get it’s time. If you need help with that one thing, ask for it. It’s not a sign of weakness. I’d love to think I can do everything all the time but the truth is I’m strongest when I have support.
- Learn how to listen to your body. Try yoga, meditation or qigong; anything that will connect you with your body better. Why is this important? So that when you do too much, you recognise the signals your body sends you. So that you know you need to put something down and rest. Your body is so intelligent. Listen to it.