In a surprising turn of events, after nursing two sick kids, I ended up getting sick too.
Nothing hectic, it was just a cold but nevertheless, I was sick and miserable (of course).
I say surprising rather sarcastically because it wasn’t surprising at all – in fact, I was waiting for it to happen. I know my body well enough to know that if I don’t get enough sleep and I work too hard and care too much, my immune system is going to take a breather and I will get sick.
And you know what? I didn’t mind!
Firstly I wasn’t sick enough to be bed ridden by any means. I kept on working as usual and driving my kids to and from school.
Secondly, and most importantly, it gave me a legitimate reason to just lie down on the couch in the middle of the afternoon.
Usually the afternoons are meant for me to do administration and reports and now I just didn’t have the energy to do that work (or much housework). And it was pretty wonderful.
If I wasn’t sick, I would have really felt guilty about doing nothing at 5pm but now I had an excuse.
And I discovered that there are a lot of interesting things to watch on TV at 5pm. But more than that, I gave my body time to relax.
What is it that makes us feel that we need to be busy all of the time?
I definitely don’t usually have the time to spend on the couch but I really cherished the time that I could. I also thought about being kinder to myself and about the importance of taking some time out just to relax.
I tend to “relax” by doing things and I try to convince myself that if it is not actual “work”, then it is leisure.
But it is not.
True relaxation is about not needing to be doing anything productive. It is about being able to not do anything without feeling guilty and it is about not feeling like you are useless or worthless if you can’t account for every minute that you spent in your day.
By being still and quiet, you allow yourself to really connect with yourself or with people who matter to you.
Put that phone down!
Put that broom away!
Step away from that computer!
You honestly deserve time out and down time.
Never, ever feel guilty about looking after your body, mind and soul.
Even if you can only manage a few minutes a day, just sit quietly and breathe.
Do gentle stretches. Watch the world go by and appreciate your surroundings.
Sip your tea (out of a real teacup rather than a travel mug) instead of gulping it on the run.
Your body will thank you for it!