Honour Your Energy (or: three words that changed my life)
Years ago I was sitting in front of my therapist saying I was sick of feeling lazy all the time. Every single weekend would start with a big To-Do list, but by the time Sunday evening rolled around, only a few items would be checked off and I would be incredibly angry with myself for wasting my time crashing on the couch instead of organizing the junk drawer.
After telling me my expectations were a tad high (maybe because my mother's house is so immaculate all the time) my therapist took a deep, slow breath and said: "honour your energy".
Tune-in to how your body is feeling and what your energy is saying to you. It's not an excuse to lay around all day; it's a way to recognize what you feel in a moment and listen to it. If your energy says to binge watch a tv show, do it. But the minute you get a new spark of "I should do X", get up right away and do whatever it's telling you to do.
Think of it like when you have one of those nights where you just cannot be bothered to cook. There's a difference between craving pizza for dinner vs when you absolutely cannot stand the idea of cooking and decided to order in, right? Ordering in when you really -really- cannot be assed to chop veggies is a way of honouring your energy. It's not that you're lazy or craving greasy 'za...it's understanding that feeling of "If I have to cook something tonight I'm going to cry" and being okay with listening to it. You won't feel like this forever, just for right now. Honour it.
Those three words really had an impact on me. If I'm sitting down doing a crossword and get the urge to stretch or go for a walk or do dishes or send an email, I do it. I feel that little spark and am up with hardly a second thought. At the same time, if I'm wandering around the apartment aimlessly surveying the chores I have to do, and I get that feeling deep down in my gut that I just need to sit down and binge watch a few episodes of The Office, I do that too. In that moment, it's not so much "I want to avoid life and watch The Office", it's "I think I just need to sit around and fuck off for a bit before getting stuff done."
Even though I do have my moments of laziness (lots of 'em) and I often wish that I spent less time scrolling Reddit while listening to Jim and Dwight's antics, learning to tune-in to myself and honour what my energy is saying to me has taught me that it's okay to sit around sometimes, because if I'm being mindful about it, it must be what I need in that moment. For me, there's a difference between mindlessly crashing on the couch out of habit, and mindfully acknowledging my need to tune-out for a few hours. Honouring my energy really seems to work well for me. It helps me be productive and has helped me stop accusing myself for being a lazy piece of garbage all the time. Hell, this blog post was a spark of energy that came just as I was sitting down to knit! Part of me wishes I was cozy and knitting while watching curling on tv...but I'm glad that I listened to that spark because it's given me good motivation to get some projects done.
Try honouring your energy for the next week. Tune in to what you're feeling and don't hesitate when the sparks come. Recognize the difference between that mindful feeling and a mindless want; there are lots of things we want (like sleeping in) and lots of things we still need to do (like getting up)...but when you have those little sparks of "I should do X", try listening and seeing where they take you.