Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to say when you’re feeling the full weight of being human. It’s not necessarily depression. It’s more like the energy is down but the spirit is still there and it’s like something is whispering to me “just rest.”
For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit buried with many things to do. It’s been overwhelming. I always try to present the best of what my life is here and across my social media but sometimes, you just have to be honest and say how things really are and for me right now, I’m feeling the deeply pensive emotions of being a human struggling against the lack of energy to get things done. It hasn’t been helping either that my right shoulder has been hurting and feeling extremely tired. This is from an old injury I sustained in a car accident about 13 years ago.
Perhaps, I’m experiencing all of this as a way of the universe/god/source or what ever you want to call this central energy letting me know that maybe, just maybe, this year needs to be a year of more self-care. Not the kind of self-care where you take a bubble bath and call it good but the kind where you dig deep into the muck to unearth more of the best parts of yourself that’s been buried by a landslide of social norms and practices. The kind where you recognize and acknowledge who and what you really are and not just what you've been told by others.
I know how hard it can be to start new habits especially when life is constantly pulling at you to “get things done.” But sometimes, you really have to set things aside to focus on taking care of yourself. I feel I’ve reached that point now and in doing so I’m realizing just how so central deep self-care is to being an artist. While the process of creation is a feedback loop that energizes you as much as takes energy, promoting that art and keeping up with all the day-to-day tasks can really take it out of you. I am not terribly gifted when it comes to finding the right words to promote my art and sometimes, I end up sitting for hours, struggling in front of my computer. Spending this kind of energy has been draining so I’m taking a step back and really looking at what I can do in the way of self-care to give myself the time and energy to recoup from my efforts. So, I’ve scheduled some major forest time for this weekend.
I'm also looking at what what are the deeper reasons for my malaise. For example, I am not the best decision maker in the world. I like to look at all angles of a decision and so often it takes me what seems like forever to get to a final decision. Acknowledging and accepting this shortfall has been huge but this doesn't mean I have accept this as my fate. So this year, I've started exercising my decision making muscles more so I can be more effective while I develop my career. Another example is what I expect from myself. When I look over the last several years of my life since leaving Seattle, I'm starting to see just how unrealistic my expectations of myself have been. So, this year, I've started readjusting my expectations and cutting myself a little slack (especially emotional slack) when it comes to what I can accomplish. Running your own business is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you're doing it by yourself so I'm learning to give myself a bit more breathing space. The third thing I'm working on is getting better at asking for help when I need it. Like many other people, I've been so self-reliant that "I've got this!" has turned into somewhat of a laughable mantra. "Do you really?" is often my soul's reply. I can't think of a habit that trips a lot of us more than not having the nerve to ask for help even when we really need it. So, I'm learning that it's ok to ask. That people love helping. I know when people ask me for help, it makes me feel so good that they trust me enough to ask.
So these are a few of the bigger issues I'm beginning to tackle in the name of self-care in 2022 and I'm already starting to see myself in a better light. So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed, cranky or a bit down? Let us know because it may help someone else who is reading this.
Many thanks for reading. Take good care and stay amazing!