Saturday, March 4, 2023



There are times that I can feel so overwhelmed in trying to get tasks accomplished that I have a voice in my head saying that you don't have time to take fifteen minutes to regroup. I KNOW in my head that I need to take just a fifteen minute break to feel better and able to complete what I need to do with a clearer mind. 

Most of what I have set up for myself actually does take fifteen minutes, while a few I give a little more attention to. I should be able to accomplish this. Afterall, I am now retired, yet swirling in my head is a question that asks, "How did you work a full time job and get things done that take so much time and energy?" My answer to myself if probably by prioritizing. 

My life (even as a retiree) seems to be so full of lists to do that making time for self-care or just giving myself a moment to catch my breath seems impossible. I have started to feel this way often. But I have discovered that simple things that don't take a lot of time can make a huge difference in how I feel mentally and physically about completing must do tasks. It had become easy to dismiss them by telling myself that these activities can't possibly make a dent in my overwhelmed feeling of getting through all of the paperwork.

Wow! Was I ever wrong about that. My first idea popped to me after reading in three different articles about how just taking a break for 10 - 15 minutes and going for a brisk (however brisk you want to make it) walk. At the time, my walk outside involves just going around the garden. Spring is starting to show up in mysterious ways. I think it has to do with the outside air, whether it is cold or not. It helps clear my mind. And, I enjoy seeing how the signs of Spring are ever changing in their beauty.

In the beginning, I know I was fighting with one side of my brain telling me to just keep cranking out the work while the other side was telling me to take that walk. I may not have the sand and the ocean to take my walk however, I am grateful that I have a beautiful garden with a pool to walk around and breathe the fresh air. I know that I need this and I always feel better. 

Another activity that I try to use is to get on my recumbent bike for an activity. It only takes 10 - 15 minutes. Every time that I pedal away, I try to beat how far I went the last time in the same amount of minutes. I compete against myself which helps me to let out steam and then get back to work.

A very British thing to do is to have a special Tea Party for one. "ME!" Use a special flavored tea in a real china tea cup and saucer and perhaps a little butter cookie? Hmmm  That always does the trick to change my hum-drum tasks that I must work on to a more engaging activity. 

Then there are days that my dry eyes are bothering me more than usual. Time to get my dry eye therapy kit out, heat it and set my timer for 10 minutes of closing my eyes with the heated eye mask over my eyes. That is something that can really make a huge difference if dry eyes are an issue.

My last idea that helps me take a break and refocus takes a little more time than 10 - 15 minutes in total time. I figure that is ok because this is something that I use to unwind at the end of a day.

It can wipe away all that I have been through during the day. It involves pouring a glass of wine, running a hot bubble bath, lighting a candle and just unwinding and relaxing. Trust me. It works wonders!

If I can find a way to spend 5 - 10 less minutes on social media, or 5 - 10 minutes less watching the news and weather, then I have the time needed for my own self-care. 


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