Sunday, March 23, 2014

Button Up Your Overcoat...

Hopefully, we won’t be wearing any “overcoats” in the near future now that Spring is here, but for some reason I thought of this old-timey song (published in 1928) when I went out today for a walk in the blustery air. The words are actually, “Button up your overcoat when the wind is free, take good care of yourself, you belong to me!” Well, actually, you belong to you. So indeed, button up. 
       A dear friend mentioned recently that she was scheduling a self-care day. I like this idea, and I like the idea of scheduling it in—actually jotting it down or typing it into your weekly planner. And in addition to a self-care day once a week or so, I think it would be great to schedule in a rest and restore hour every day (in addition to lunch, of course!).
      Sometimes I feel like I’m running in circles and there is absolutely no time to slow down and take a break (which in the long run makes us more energized and ultimately more productive). No doubt you’re thinking it’s impossible for you, too, especially if you have a job and/or kids. God knows what would happen if you went out for a walk or took a snooze!
      But have you ever noticed that when you actually do get sick and have to stay home and take care of yourself the world does not end? I’m not wishing an illness on anyone, but it’s kind of amazing the way when something actually happens to thwart us from meeting all the obligations that we have in a given day, banks still cash checks, restaurants still make food, the sun still rises and sets, and those who we think are incapable of living without us even for a few hours (children, spouses, etc.) somehow manage to carry on? I’m not a proponent of shirking responsibilities, but the more I witness how responsibilities can swallow our time and our health, the more I believe that self-care should be just as important (if not more so) than everything else.
      Lengthy vacations are great, but it may be even more essential to take a vacation in your mind on a daily basis. Close your door, light a candle, put on some calming music, and breathe for twenty minutes or so. You don’t have to be at a yoga class to enjoy a Shavasana (this translates as “corpse pose” which may not sound very fun to non-yogis, but many yogis know it as their favorite asana!) and you don’t need an excuse to take a time out from your day. You belong to yourself, after all. That’s reason enough.