A couple of months ago, I wrote about the “How Full Is Your Bucket” book with the idea that anything you do or say can affect the levels of someone’s bucket. You can either add to their buckets with positive emotions or ‘bucket dip’ and take away from their wellbeing.
But I started to see the bucket metaphor differently as I was talking with my husband about some of the stress management training that he is doing with Amtrak at the moment – basically teaching them how to handle the stress when inevitably someone stupidly allows themself to get killed by the train. Blunt, I know – but it happens more than you think.
Anyway, the trainers gave light to a new bucket metaphor. An opposite one, really. They talked about how everyone’s buckets can only be so full.
Only so full of tasks, priorities, commitments, stresses, etc.
And unfortunately – it’s those type-A, hyper-productive people – exactly like me – who always keep their buckets just teetering on the edge of overflow. Just within a thimble’s reach of collapse.
And the funny thing about science…when you keep your bucket at capacity all the time – the curve balls WILL send you into overflow – into meltdown.
So what’s the solution? Keep my bucket levels lower. Get rid of commitments and allow for time and space to take care of myself. Easy, right? Not so much for me… Productivity, achievement and goals have ruled my life for many, many years. But at the expense of my health, wellbeing and with a huge dose of anxiety.
Somehow – that’s going to have to stop. And I can’t say how I’m going to get there…exactly. I can say it will probably include a combination of: meditation, yoga, therapy, acupuncture, reading, reassessment, learning to enjoy time, gratitude journaling, and a whole lot more. Some of which I hope to share here.
It may include – Off Limit Sundays – coined by my father, wherein I am banned from scheduling anything on Sundays. Specifically: any big things/trips/etc. Moreover, not necessarily always Sundays but just one day a week where I give myself the space and time to recharge. Sure, the day to day of chores and errands may creep in. But my need for this ‘me time’ or ‘down time’ has become increasingly apparent over the last few months.
I literally stop functioning without it. And that isn’t something I should be ashamed of. The productivity-driven side of me tries to tell me I should. I should be able to fit it all in – make it all happen.
But in reality, the only “should” I should be doing is respecting myself. Taking care of myself.
Here’s to trying.