There is a beautiful rain and thunderstorm happening right now, and I want to enjoy it. When this happens in the middle of the work day, I want to immediately go crawl under the covers with a good book. Now it’s the evening, the moment is here, so off I go, under my blanket with a book. Ooh, I’ll make a cup of tea too.
Here’s a video of the rain so you can enjoy it with me. Make sure your sound is on. There’s a gorgeous crack of thunder at about the 30 second mark.
A couple weeks ago I introduced the book Deep Work and my inspiration to greatly limit the amount of time spent each day on Instagram, on a quest to eliminate mindless, unsatisfying, time wasting scrolling. I’m happy to report that after just a few days of not checking IG during the workday, the unconscious habit to do so left me. The temptation was there, but it was not accompanied by a desire.
One of the coolest side effects of removing the unconscious time on IG from my day-to-day, as well as several other strategies from the book such as turning off Slack during deep work time and only checking email twice per day, is having much more energy at the end of the workday. Energy is something I struggle with, and has been a struggle ever since I was a teenager and anemia set it. I’m no longer anemic, but my desire to accomplish has never matched my energy level. There is so much I want to do in any given day, and my body and mind seem incapable of accommodating it all, especially when work is particularly intense.
A couple weeks ago, after a particularly taxing week at work, I picked up a new book on the weekend, and it sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down and there was a voice in my head nagging at me, telling me I had to clean my apartment and take care of… who knows? Take care of things. I chose to respond to that voice with a simple statement, “I give myself permission to spend this entire day reading.” And that’s pretty much what I did. It was glorious.
I had a small win yesterday that felt like a big victory in the moment. If you don’t have any issues around codependence and maintaining healthy personal boundaries, this will not sound like a win at all. It will sound perfectly commonplace. However, if saying no, or feeling guilty for letting someone down, are challenges you’re familiar with, then you’ll understand the significance.
It was a tough day, starting with some draining moments of miscommunication at work, and topped off with a particularly emotional therapy session, digging into the nitty gritty of hurt and resentment. By the end of that session, I was feeling raw, and spent.
In emotionally charged moments, there can be a strong urge to react immediately, let the anger/frustration/stress out and be done with it. Of course it never turns out that way. If we let loose with anger and frustration in the heat of the moment, most of the time it makes the situation worse or blows the triggering issue way out of proportion.
I’ve noticed the same with overwhelm. Sometimes during the workday, when my to-do list is already quite ambitious, and as the day progresses the pings keep adding up, the calls for my attention or intervention are piling on, my brain starts to explode. Or perhaps implode is more accurate? In any case, the feeling of overwhelm sets in and I’m momentarily frozen in my seat, slightly panic stricken, and I think the only way out is to address every single issue at the exact same time which means clicking around madly and getting absolutely nothing accomplished.
Thankfully, I’ve come to learn a much more advantageous approach which initially may sound counterproductive, yet consistently proves to be the solution.
Normally I prefer to share an idea with you that’s tried, tested, and true. However, this week, I’m sharing with you at the beginning of a journey. Actually, that’s not accurate. This is not the beginning of a journey. It feels more like the beginning of a shift I’ve wanted to experience for some time now.
It’s a shift out of distraction and toward greater meaning.
For some time now, I’ve struggled with my relationship to my phone. I’m addicted to it, and this makes me unhappy. The addiction shows up as mindless checking of messages all throughout the day, plus random meaningless scrolling through instagram, even if that’s not why I initially reached for my phone. Can you relate?
This post is for my fellow overachievers – those of you that attempt to master every aspect of your day and your life, and feel unsuccessful if any element is not A+. Yep, I’m talking to you.
I have a new mantra for you: Let yourself off the hook.
I know very well that when you hold yourself to impossibly high standards, letting yourself off the hook is a hugely challenging ask. And I also know how good it feels when you get in the habit of doing it.
When it comes to end-of-the-workday relaxation, Netflix is not the only answer. In fact, laying out in front of the TV might not be relaxing at all. Don’t get me wrong. The occasional binge watch can feel highly indulgent and satisfying. However, if zoning out for hours in front of your favorite streaming service is your go-to wind down activity, I want to offer a different perspective, and different options, for finding the relaxation, rest, and recovery that you’re looking for.
One of my favorite pick-me-ups is fresh flowers in my home. Sometimes I feel inspired to buy myself a bouquet, but more often than not, it gets overlooked in favor of my grocery list. That is, until my friend Cathy and I came up with this brilliant idea!
Check out our Flower Gifting Ritual in the video below.