Good morning, y’all! Happy Thursday, and welcome to episode six of The Work Of Becoming podcast. I want to talk to you today about personal first aid kits, and what I think of as a personal first aid kit is a protocol of a list of actions that I take when I’m really, really in a funk and I need to take care of myself.
So, to start with a story (as I always do), about a week ago — I think it was a little bit more. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but let’s say it was a Tuesday, and I woke up late. I woke up in a total funk. I was in a mood. I don’t know. It might have been a hormonal thing or whatever, but I was in a rage at the world. Everything was pissing me off. John was pissing me off. My computer was pissing me off. I was just in a total rage, and I kind of managed to mind manage myself through my day, so I got some stuff done. I worked. I kind of regulated myself. But at the end of the day, I was still feeling really, really, really overwhelmed, and, generally, when I wake up like that, I know, for me personally, it’s an anxiety issue. I am anxious about something, I’m overthinking about something, and it just is too far in my subconscious that I don’t realize what’s going on.
And so, John, my partner, texted me because he works on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the office and, usually, I go pick him up and we go for a walk. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don’t. So, he texted me, and he was like, “Are you coming to pick me up or what do you want to do?” I texted him back, and I was like, “No, I think I just need you to come home,” because I was, again, overwhelmed, in a place, I didn’t want to go get him, I didn’t want to go for a walk, etcetera.
So, he got home, and he was kind of like, “Are you good?” [Laughs] Like what is wrong with you, basically, but he said it nicer than that, and I looked at him, and there was part of me that wanted to say, “Oh, everything’s fine,” and there was part me that wanted to say, “I’m just gonna cook dinner as normal. I’m just gonna watch some TV with John. I’m gonna go about my evening as if I haven’t been in this mood all day.” Sometimes, for me, and sometimes likely for you, that is the right decision. Sometimes for me, in the moment, it is better to say, “Hey, let’s go on our normal walk. Hey, let me get myself to fix dinner so I feel some sense of normalcy,” right?
But in these moments, what I typically ask myself to make this decision is what do I really want, right? What does the little Karin who is inside of me, and she’s currently hurting or sad or anxious or whatever, what does she need? And so, I asked myself that, and the answer that came to me was I just needed space and time to be alone. I wanted to get in the bathtub, take a bath, and then I wanted to lay in bed on my laptop and do some — I’m doing this online course that’s all about becoming a CEO, and I really just wanted to watch some modules about that, think about my life, and kind of take a beat, okay?
And, of course, it’s tempting to be like, “I can’t do that! It’s my night to do dinner. It’s out of the realm of our normal routine. John’s gonna be mad if I do that,” etcetera, etcetera. But in those moments, y’all, when the little version inside of you, when you need something, it’s important to respect what you really, really need. And so, I told John, I was like, “Listen, I love you, and I’m sorry, but I really need you to figure out dinner on your own, and I really just need to take a minute for myself. I really just need to be alone the rest of the evening,” and John was fine with that, right? He was like, “Yeah, totally. No problem.”
So, he took the dog for a walk, I took a bath alone in my house, I ended up laying in bed, I watched some of these video trainings for this course I’m in, and by the end of the night, I had made a list of the things that were bothering me, and I had self-regulated and got myself into a much, much, much better place.
I wanted to tell this story for two reasons. One, it’s not always our job to solve for a negative emotion. It’s not always our job to mind manage ourselves around the situation we’re experiencing inside of us and get ourselves back on track. Sometimes that is not the goal. Sometimes that is not the best option. Instead, it’s the best option sometimes to put everything else on pause. If at all possible, put whatever you can on pause and let yourself feel and process that emotion, okay? Then, two, I tell these stories because I think a lot of you look at my life and you look at my change skills and my PhD, and you think that I don’t have these moments where I just want to rage at everything and close all my doors and lay in bed in the dark, and I absolutely do, right? I absolutely do. Being a human is going to be 50/50. We’re gonna have ups, we’re gonna have downs, and no matter how evolved you are, no matter how many times you’ve created your future self, your future self is also gonna have bad days. She’s also gonna have negative feelings, and so, the more you can get used to serving yourself and caring for yourself in those moments instead of beating yourself up, the easier they’re gonna be to deal with and the more you’re gonna build that really, really healthy relationship with yourself.
That’s what I’ve got today. Have a wonderful Thursday!