• Kayte Thomas

Just a quick reminder...

Today’s post may take all of a minute to read, but I promise it’s important. You see, I had a whole plan to write about how to talk to your kids about the election and ways to frame discussions within your individual values and goals. I was going to point out how important it is to let children be part of larger conversations such as these so that they can grow up to appreciate civic discussions and make conscious contributions to society when they are adults as well. And all of that matters, and is important to address.

And I promise, that post will come at a later date.

However, despite all the plans I had in my head for discussion today, I sat down to write and could not shake the feeling of being overwhelmed. There is so much going on in the world right now and the intensity of it is so strong that sometimes it’s just hard to keep up at the expected pace. Many of us (myself included) are dealing with frustration and grief and processing of difficult emotions while simultaneously trying to balance work and parenting and life expectations that are not slowing down. Sometimes it’s just too much. And I recognize that if I’m feeling this way, many others are as well.

So here’s the lesson for this week. Are you ready?

It’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to tune in to what you need in order to feel well or stay sane. It’s ok to say that you can’t keep pushing forward at full speed.

We were not meant to be working machines. We were not meant to live in semi-isolation the way we are during this pandemic, regardless of how necessary it may be for communal safety. We were not meant to endure the stresses of witnessing a nation’s sociopolitical strife and complete destruction of various pockets of human rights. We were however meant for connection, for creativity, for love, for joy, for exploration, and for personal growth. And right now, a lot of that is being stifled.

For this week, spend just 10-15 minutes in quiet reflection. Focus only on yourself (it can be challenging, by try). Pay attention to what you need – not what *needs to be done*, but what *you need*. Try this:

  • Find some space where you can sit quietly without distractions

  • Breathe slowly, close your eyes, and tune in to yourself

  • Ask yourself what do you need to feel:

o Physically better

o Emotionally supported

o Mentally rested

o Spiritually fulfilled

  • Evaluate what within your life aligns with meeting those needs, and what is in opposition to them

  • Consider if there is excess tension in any area of your life

  • Determine what, if any, changes can be made to improve your well-being

  • Think about who or what might be beneficial supports for you

One you’ve done that, just sit with yourself in quietude for a bit. What do you notice? Check in with how your body feels, and if there are any physical sensations or emotions which came about from this activity. Most importantly, is there anything that you need to do that you’re just waiting for permission to do somehow?

Give yourself permission to do that.

Sit with that for a minute. Give yourself permission to do the things that need to be done for you. Not for others, or deadlines, or expectations, but just because you need it to feel whole. What are those things? And what will you do after today to start prioritizing yourself more?

That’s it. You matter, and it’s ok to pause when the world feels like it’s spinning faster than you can keep up with. Breathe.

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