Everybody, breathe.

 CAUTION: THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE WAY YOU LIVE!

CAUTION: THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE WAY YOU LIVE!

As I write this, the windows are open,  the breeze is swirling the leaves around the trees, and the birds are chirping happily. Most likely there are approximately 23 bunnies racing around my yard, devising new ways to break into my garden and devour my hard-earned tomato sprouts. And I am breathing it all in.

The most noticeable sound is the quiet - no mischievous boys or husband breaking up the bird chirps. My three men have headed out to watch our nephew race his dirt bike, and I would love to be there to cheer him on, too, but y’all I. Am. Tired.

You know that kind of complete, utter exhaustion that takes you over and physically manifests itself into nausea, headaches, chest pains, strained muscles? When you’re so overwhelmed you cry at any and every little thing. When you feel that horrible sense of crushing inadequacy, and you simply cannot be the best parent, spouse, friend - the best version of yourself, because you’re living in fight or flight mode 24/7?

I had one of those weeks and realized that for the sake of my sanity, rest was necessary, period. 

I feel like I’m living my life right now on the precipice of some major changes. I’m this close to having my studio built. I’m this close to being able to do more commercial shoots, more video. We’re this close to finishing more of our ever-growing list of house projects. I’m always looking to the next goal to be crossed off. 

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Maybe that’s why I feel like I can’t relax. Because THE LIST NEVER ENDS. There is no finish line.  Does anyone else feel this way? 

Life doesn’t have to be this level of crazy. We can control it. I’m listening on Audible right now to Rachel Hollis’ book “Girl, Wash Your Face,” and it’s just confirming all these things I already know:

  • I control my happiness.
  • I control what I allow in my life.
  • I can say no.

I feel like I’ve gotten much better over the years at saying “no” to social activities to allow more home time with my family, where I can recharge, but it’s still SO HARD to keep my work from invading and controlling my emotional well being.

The things we KNOW make us feel good are the first to get cut when schedules get tight. For me it’s:

  • yoga
  • gardening
  • hiking
  • cooking
  • exercising
  • eating well
  • spending unrushed, quality time with my family
  • just sitting still for 5 minutes at a time

But you guys, we owe it to ourselves and our family to be that awesome, shiny, happy, full version of us that we know is in there. That’s an obligation we need to prioritize. Because when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Ha, I kid.

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But honestly, we’re doing important work in our lives (and I don’t mean our occupation). Raising kids, being a good partner, being a good friend, bringing light and love to those around us, it’s all important and we can’t fulfill those roles when we aren’t feeling whole, ourselves.

So, you, busy person reading this, go do something that makes you truly feel happy and present and don’t feel guilty about it. The world needs you!

What do you do to intentionally slow down? What fills your cup up? If you gave yourself the time and space, what would you be doing for yourself?