What to do when you don't have energy for self care
When you’re sick, overwhelmed, sleep deprived, or depressed, self care can feel really hard.
When I’m feeling low, the draw to hole up in my house and watch a marathon of Parks and Recreation in the fetal position can feel all consuming. That can be helpful for a short-term escape from reality, but I know well that long stretches of TV and solitude aren’t restorative for me.
In low energy times, activities that normally feel nourishing, like going for a long walk or getting together with friends, can sound impossibly draining. But I know that if I neglect self care for too long, I’ll forget that there are hobbies I enjoy, people I adore, and that I truly am going to feel better.
You may know the feeling right now. We’re especially vulnerable to feeling crappy when the weather is cold and the days are short, when it can be a struggle to just make it through the day, let alone try to feel good.
This is when we need self care more than ever, of course! When we feel emotionally and physically worn out, our whole selves (body, mind, and spirit) are actually demanding attention and nourishment.
These are the perfect opportunities to practice making self care manageable and inviting.
Self care doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy. It can be easy.
Here are some more manageable ways to practice self care when you’re feeling utterly drained:
Abbreviate your usual self care routine
You may know from experience that taking a walk outside lifts your mood. If your usual walk feels too energy-intensive, give yourself permission to make it much shorter. What about walking just a block? To your mailbox?
Take a mini retreat
Get out your self care action plan and jump into one of the easy mini retreats you chose. If you haven’t yet, use the guide to Design Your Self Care Plan.
Make your yoga practice as easy as possible
You don’t have to drag yourself to the yoga studio or spend an hour on the mat for it to “count” as a yoga practice. Right now, do what sounds easy and appealing, like a couple of poses in bed or some mindful breathing. For more short, minimal effort yoga practices check out my recent post in DoYouYoga.
Give yourself credit!
When you’re feeling low, any self care is an accomplishment. Celebrate it with someone who you know will be happy you’re taking care of yourself. Leave a comment on Facebook so I can cheer you on, too!
What are you going to do to take loving care of yourself the next time you’re feeling low?