Resting for Wellbeing

I have a confession: I spent the entire weekend in bed.

Did I have a stomach upset? No.

The flu perhaps? No. 

Was I grieving the loss of something intrinsically important to me? No.

I was Resting.

I say resting with a capital ‘R’ because sometimes I think we neglect to remember just how important resting is. By being ‘in bed’ I don’t actually mean under the covers sleeping (I’m pretty good at sleeping but not that good). I was lying in late, getting up for sustenance and hygiene (the hindrance of being human at times!) and then returning to lounge further; reading and writing, planning in my journal, daydreaming, napping, catching up on a few of my favourite vloggers and discovering some interesting new blogs to read. I read the entire Sunday newspaper from start to finish including all the lift outs.

It was positively Blissful.

It had been a hectic two weeks spent running around after my 15-year-old daughter who has a condition. Last week she had an appointment –  Every. Single. Day. Whilst the logistics of this are challenging to fit into any given day, I have become quite accomplished at the art of getting from A to B to C in speedy time. What was so exhausting was the emotional strain I was under. I had been holding everything together for others and letting my self-care wilt away, much like the unwatered pot plant in the kitchen. Ahh, Monstera Tragicosa, what will become of you? 

I don’t know what it is about resting that elicits a feeling of guilt for me. I had one such moment on the second day of the Rest-In, deep into my second leg of old school Sunday newspaper reading when my older daughter came in to ask me something. I jolted with surprise and quickly positioned a textbook near me so it had looked like I had been studying all along. What on earth was that all about?!

Am I worried about letting the values of hard work and effort I have tried so hard to instill in my daughters slide? Maybe.

Will she think I am lazy? Maybe.

Will she become lazy herself? Probably not.

Will that reflect back on me as a parent? Who knows.

What is it about taking time out for yourself that makes it seem so… sneaky, so forbidden?

I started to reflect that perhaps I should be looking at it from another angle. Taking time out for self-care, rejuvenation and replenishment of one’s mind, body and spirit are crucial for wellbeing. This is exactly what I would want for her! Heading into her final year of high school I absolutely want her to have strategies and a feeling of encouragement to take time out if she needs to. Western culture has become so deeply embedded with a kind of ‘busyness glorification’ that it feels so taboo when one goes against it. To purposely knock back offers of socializing and outings in favour of staying in to process the excessive amounts of stimuli we are exposed every single day.

We all need replenishment. This is part of being human. Feeling guilty should never even come into the equation.

When my daughters were in primary school one of their teachers created a space in the corner of the classroom, shielded away from the tables and chairs. She called this the ‘Chill-ax Space’ and kids could go there to zone out, chill, and just generally process stuff. I love the concept of having a designated space solely for ‘chill-axing’ and carry that memory with me now when life is overloading my plate.

I’m off to water my Monstera..

Luna xo

 

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Self care in times of stress

It feels so good to rise to the surface and breathe once again after an all-consuming month of assignments and exams which mark the end of my first year of uni as a non-school leaver. Whilst I absolutely LOVE studying, I have found the pressure involved with end of semester requirements quite overwhelming at times. Being a more ‘vintage’ individual, there are increased demands to navigate through – home/study balance, raising teenagers and work issues to start. This is a gentle reminder to take time out in times of heightened pressure to just.. Be. Breathe a little. Give thanks for all that is good in life. Just an hour a day has been my aim, yet sometimes even this has been unachievable. In which case, even ten minutes will work wonders.

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Take that extra long shower. Download a new playlist to zone out to. Enjoy the superior chai in the ‘Cafe of good vibes’. Walk alone in nature without earphones. Message your loved one with silly banter. Pull out 3.5 weeds from the garden and be proud with this effort. Grounding is brilliant. Even just sitting on the grass with a cup of tea for 10 minutes can recharge oneself for the next intensive session of fact absorbing/essay creation.

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Take time to just be and tune out. Fuel your body with healthy foods that will bring the rewards of increased energy and focus for learning. It will soon all be over, and there IS life after exams. Actually, that is exactly what life IS. Exams are just a stepping stone to move from this chapter to the next and are not in fact ‘life’. Remember who is important and take time out of the study schedule to maintain contact. Connections are what count. Connections are what keep us going most of all in times of high stress.

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Be well,

Luna xx