I always promised to keep things super real with y'all, so here goes. June 29th is a difficult day in my family, it's the anniversary of when my sister passed away. Because it's such a sad day, I try to make it a point to try to focus on self-care today. Historically, when I was still in Boston, I enjoyed spending the day with my dad. We'd get together for lunch or dinner and make the most out of it, just he and I. Unfortunately, being 3,000 miles away, that's not an option today. But self-care is, something I've significantly been neglecting lately.
Self-care is so different for everyone, but equally personal. It can range from some of my favorites things such as acupuncture, a bath, a peaceful walk, or an afternoon at the beach to things as fundamental as one's diet, water intake, sleep, and exercise. But I'm going to take this even simpler than that. Since I'm not able to spend the day with my dad I wanted to share one of the greatest lessons he taught me, because it's one I think most of us struggle with. It's about our time and energy.
No matter how we try to simplify, life never seems to get simpler. For me, my mind moves at a million miles an hour. It just never stops and is forever on overdrive. My ENT doctor loves to say, 'I've seen scans of your brain and even those don't stop moving!' On top of that, I'm a worrier--always have been. I worry myself to the point where I'm literally sick to my stomach and cannot eat--obviously horrible for self-care. It is a tremendous waste of time and energy, and the majority of the time the worst case scenario I've written and replayed over and over in my mind never happens. Many years ago my dad watched me go down into the rabbit hole for probably the millionth time and said something to me that didn't mean enough to me at the time. However, lately his words have been ringing (maybe screaming) in my ear so I'm doing whatever I can to finally, truly listen to his sage advice on self-care.
He said, 'We think of our mental energy as a source that cannot be depleted. Sure, we know that we need to eat and sleep in order to sustain a certain amount but we never think of it in terms of genuine, real, tangible levels...like a Pie Chart at 100%. Some of this is because it's not possible to truly calculate or measure how much energy is spent on certain things. But let's pretend that we can. Let's say you're using 30% on worrying about an issue with your significant other and 20% on how a conversation with your boss will go and 10% on how you're going to afford something and 5% on what you're doing this weekend, what are you left with? 35%. Are you really in a position to only devote 35% of your energy to what truly matters? Your health, furthering your growth and development as a person, you passions? That's barely 10% to any one of those things while you're spending 3 times that on nonsense.'
Or as my dear friend, Tonya, likes to say (scream), 'Take it out of the box!!!!!!'
There are countless things we can do to better ourselves, but I don't think any will be more beneficial than removing thoughts, or things, that do not contribute to progress. I am a true believer that our thoughts become our reality (which may have to be an entirely different post) but as much as I believe that it's not always easy to do that. So today, as a thank you to my dad for the endless times I didn't listen to his advice, and to my sister who doesn't get to receive it anymore, I'm sharing it with all of you--and practicing it.