Let's talk stress.
I don't know how many times a day I think or say or just blind-panic over the seemingly inescapable reality that I don't have enough time to stay on top of my life. Especially as an adult, and ESPECIALLY in the city, where everything feels so pricey and so fast-paced. I often let myself think I need to keep moving to survive. This shark/hummingbird mentality prevents me from enjoying my life more than I would care to admit. I recognize the importance of slowing down and recharging my batteries. I am an intelligent, capable woman with a firm grasp on the concept of self-care. In theory, anyway. In actual practice, here is what happens:
"Oh look, my to-do list is approaching Epic. Let's prioritize and go item-by-item until it is finished and I feel accomplished and totally in control of my life."
"Ok, first task is taking longer than I anticipated. No big deal, it's still early."
"Crap, I only have (insert time countdown here) and I'm not even halfway through my list."
*Focus and motivation begin to fluster-frazzle-fizzle*
"Shit. Allyn will be home from school in (insert time countdown here) and I still have so much to do."
"Ok, refocus. What can be pushed off until tomorrow? Yoga? Going for a run? Weekly healthy food prep? Taking a break to play with the dog? Painting? EVERY KIND OF SELF-CARE?"
Absolutely. These are low priority compared to Getting Work Done. Every time. So pushing off the necessary slowing down becomes a daily habit, and before I know it I haven't gone for a run in months. Yoga? Forget it. My paints? Where even are they right now? All these things take up time and focus that I "can't" spare, so I end up burning out and not getting anything done anyway.
Is this familiar? I can't be the only one who gets locked into the frazzled, busy, high-octane life trap.
I have, over the years, managed to find one act of self-care that is always there for me. One that I can always make time for. One that grounds and centers and resets me. My most efficient method for taking care of myself and getting back on track. Any guesses? I'll give you exactly one.
Surprising no one, the answer always comes back to tea. The simple, profoundly important act of brewing and drinking a cup of tea is my no-fail solution to overwhelm. Cranky tween? Crazy puppy? Internet has been down for a GODDAMN WEEK and Centurylink tech support is once again being totally useless? Yeah. Pardon me for ten minutes while I shrink my entire universe down to the exquisitely mundane ritual of drinking tea. I'll deal with all you suckers in a few.
By the way, this post took me three months to actually sit down and write. THREE MONTHS. I gotta go have a cup of tea now. I suggest you do the same.