Reflection: It wasn’t an unusual week, but I do remember it well. By the time Friday rolled around, I was good and cranky.
It hadn’t even been an especially demanding week. Just an event or three here – a project or four there – an errand or five elsewhere – and so it went. Not unlike a host of other weeks.
But I was tired and out of sorts all the same. Snappy – short tempered – restless! I recognize the signs more easily at this stage in my life.
The situation called for measures – not even drastic ones. I knew I needed time for me.
And so, I cleared the decks for Saturday. No commitments. No errands. No leaving the house to tend to anything for anyone.
What DID I do? I indulged in a series of simple, small and seemingly insignificant treats:
- I enjoyed my morning coffee – right to the bottom of the cup – while it was still hot.
- I read the newspaper – front to back – including all the comics.
- I did ALL the puzzles – crossword, jumble AND Sudoku.
- I took a half hour for yoga.
- I stretched out, cracked open a new novel, and read until it dropped from my hands as I nodded off for a nap.
- I spent a couple of hours noodling around in the studio with my paints – with no particular outcome in mind.
- I watched a movie I’d wanted to see for some time now.
- I did a little thinking – just a little – just enough.
- I sipped a tasty glass of wine.
- I took another nap.
And so went the day and the evening.
In the end, I restored my energy and reset my mindset in ways that made me good for me – and better for others, too.
Action: I don’t know what turns your crank or neutralizes your crankiness. But I do know that investing a few hours caring for your own needs goes a long way towards improving your outlook on the world.
It’s not always something ‘out there’ that needs to change in order for you to feel happier or more content. More often than not, reset is an inside job.
An hour. An evening. A day. Whatever you can carve out to care for yourself in order to banish cranky to the hills, will be time well invested.
Quotes Of The Week: Look out! I’m not only wearing my grumpy pants, today I have the whole outfit on and socks to match. – Cranky Bear
There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky! — Peter Jennings
Resources Of The Week: This HBR article by Gaetano DiNardi, Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time On Hobbies, sheds light on the positive impact of leisure pursuits and creative hobbies on resilience, perspective and confidence.
Enjoy dipping into this Psychology Today article by Guy Winch, Seven Ways To Stop Being Irritable.
One way to become more clear about things is to take some time to think. This article by Suzanne Bates shares a handful of ways you can go about Finding Time To Think.
Readers Write: In response to last month’s message, Turn Down The Screen – Turn Up Your Life, Pause reader SF writes: I taught a class to first year students in the fall. I haven’t taught this class in 5 years and I was shocked how often their smart phones were in their hands. No talking to classmates before class, or while waiting for the lecture to start once seated, if they were bored or there was a pause in the lecture they were on their phones. I actually had to construct an opportunity that naturally occurred when I was a uni student over 20 years ago-the idle time and space for chatting with your neighbour after some group work. I asked them to leave their phone in their bag. When they were done group work they chatted about an upcoming assignment, how to find sources at the library, how to join an intramural team at the PAC. They learned so much from each other in 5 or 10 min that was relevant to their student success. The face to face social part of university life for those 1st year students was almost non-existent and I think it’s sad and lonely.
Pause reader LE writes: Loved this Pause, Pat. I have often watched people in a coffee shop, sitting together but looking at their phones…or, worse, crossing the street in the midst of traffic without looking up from their phones. Our connections with our own safety and with one another seem to be fading away. Most of the time, my phone is nowhere near me. I check it once in a while, but being attached to it is just not me.