I just came off an amazing weekend! What did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Well…I did some things but it was all about slowing down and regrouping — a bit of that much-needed self-care and self-love that I’ve heard so much about.
This past weekend has convinced me of the value of hitting those control-alt-delete buttons and rebooting. We should all take time for ourselves, particularly in this day and age, and especially when living with a chronic illness.
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the stresses of living with multiple sclerosis, but during the past couple of months, life has felt so crazy and out of control to me. I’ve felt like I’ve been in a constant state of motion. Being a mother and working full time, there was this ever-swirling tornado around me of events and “to-do” items. It was so all-encompassing that I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I couldn’t think or focus on any one thing in particular and life just seemed so overwhelming. To top that off, I have been battling a nasty winter cold that seems to keep re-circulating its way back to me. I was truly in survival mode trudging through my days.
As if the universe sensed what I needed, the planets appeared to align this past weekend and upon my husband’s urging, I took the opportunity to have a weekend all to myself. I’m lucky that I have supportive family members who could see that I needed rest. They all stepped in to help make that much-needed respite happen for me. My parents took my youngest son, my older son was his father, and my husband was away for the weekend.
By late Friday afternoon, the house was vacant and completely silent. It was just me and the two golden retrievers. At first, I was having a little “mommy guilt” about having my boys away but I let go of that emotion knowing that my boys were being taken care of, and probably having a blast.
The only person I needed to worry about this past weekend was me. So it was just me with my thoughts. I told myself that I was going to take advantage of the weekend and truly try to get the rest that I needed.
I told myself that I wasn’t going to worry about chores or “to-do” list items. I reassured myself that those tasks would all get handled eventually but this weekend wasn’t going to be about getting stuff done. My goal for this past weekend was simply to rest.
The first thing I did was unplug. I literally hit control-alt-delete and shut down the computer, put my phone on its charger, and made a cup of tea. I savored the silence and the quiet. I focused my mind on healing and “rebooting.”
It was just me, alone with my thoughts, and the physical quiet quickly lead to mental quiet. What started off as a physical break quickly morphed into a mental health break as well. I felt a sense of peace and enjoyed a quiet mind. I focused on taking care of myself and concentrated only on that.
I ate well by nourishing my body with healthy meals and hydrating with plenty of water. I made sure to take the time to thoroughly enjoy my cups of tea. (Recently, one too many cups of tea has sat cold and forgotten because life was seemingly too busy.) I finished a book and started another one. I went to bed early and woke with the sun. I did yoga and took unused or outgrown items to the local donation center. I shopped for food for the week at a leisurely pace going aisle by aisle and taking my time. I was in no rush to do anything. I was on no one’s clock but my own.
The miraculous thing was that time seemed to slow down for me. I would often look at my watch and be astonished at the time. I had slowed down and the world appeared to have followed my lead. It was almost like I was gaining time, and in a way, I guess I was.
By Sunday, I was feeling so refreshed and renewed. I awoke on Sunday morning and went for a run — something that I’ve been missing lately because of the way I’ve been feeling. After that, I dressed and took the time to do my hair and put on make-up — another thing that I’ve felt too rushed to do these days. I was feeling good. I was a recharged wife and mother ready to embrace life again.
It is amazing to me how something as simple as a quiet weekend can have such a profound effect on the soul. It was truly the rest and reboot that I needed. I got back in touch with myself and the stillness put life back into perspective.
My weekend of doing nothing was incredibly therapeutic. I know that life will get hectic again as it tends to do but for the time being, I feel recharged and refreshed. Life doesn’t feel so overwhelming, and the sun feels like it is shining all that much brighter on a Monday morning. If I learned anything from my “reboot” weekend, it is that when things start feeling crazy again, I need to slow it down, shut it down and take quiet time for myself.
I used to refer to "control-alt-delete" as those 20 minutes naps I needed to combat MS fatigue and to make it through my day. Now, control-alt-delete has taken on a whole new meaning for me on an even larger scale. Sometimes when life is happening at suboptimal levels, we need to take the time to shut down and reboot.
If you haven’t taken the time for some self-care recently, you’re probably way overdue. I highly recommend you take the time and hit your control-alt-delete buttons! You’re worth it and you won’t regret it!