It feels like the waves of stress and sadness just keep coming-the pandemic, social unrest, economic inequity, and now war. We are experiencing a lifetime of tragedy in just two and a half years.
The constant barrage of devastating news, loss of life, and injustices can leave us feeling anxious, overwhelmed, angry, and sad. As we witness everything that keeps happening in our world, we’re reminded of just how important it is to tend to our own greenhouses - to secure our own oxygen masks- first.
The pandemic shined an enormous light on how vital humans need to feel connected to thrive. We all tried Zoom gathering, drive-by parades and binged a certain tiger show in an attempt to feel a virtual-human connection. While these attempts lifted our spirits in the moment-moments are fleeting.
Isolation, depression, anxiety, and fear spread as quickly as the virus. Boston College researchers found that 50% of people reported increased anxiety and 44% increased depression, six times higher than in 2019. The past two and half years have had a negative impact on our mental health and well-being. Which has manifested in people reporting difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%),
With all of the negativity swirling around coupled with the loss of human connection, we can easily fall into a troublesome rut. This rut might include too much take-out, overindulging in a nightcap, or staying in that favorite pair of sweats for too long. While there are occasions when take-out is needed, a nightcap is a perfect way to end an evening, and a cozy pair of sweats can bring comfort; letting them turn into habits is harmful to our health and well-being. If we are not taking care of our mental, physical, spiritual, and financial health, we will be incapable of helping others. How can we help others’ growth if we’re withering away?
We all know what we should do to nurture our greenhouses, so why don’t we? Is it because taking care of ourselves feels self-indulgent? Do we feel guilty when taking time for ourselves? Are our schedules so overloaded that it feels like there’s no extra time? Or we simply don’t know how to care for ourselves because we're so out of practice? We can convince ourselves that these are valid excuses, but excuses don’t grow, feed, or nurture us. If you do not make time for your health and well-being, you will be forced to make time for your illness and deteriorating well-being.
“What I now know more than ever, it’s the time we space for ourselves that makes the biggest difference. A walk outside. Riding a bike. Spending time with the people we love. Those everyday moments equate to the gratitude of all that we have.” -Jenn Lim
*Jenn’s full story will appear in the Scare Your Soul launching on December 6th!
When we make things a priority, they get done. We set aside time to accomplish needed tasks, silence our notifications, buckle down and make it happen. So, why aren’t we prioritizing ourselves? Make time to tend to your greenhouse by adding YOU to the calendar. Block the time, make an appointment for yourself, and set reminders.
Now that you have "you time” scheduled, how can you spend it? If prioritizing yourself is new to you,[and even if it's not] here are a few ideas to get you started: