Hot and slow and sticky. Ice cream and sprinklers and grilled burgers. Ponytails and cotton skirts and loose tank-tops. Almost-daily trips to the pool, freezer pops and blinking fireflies. Juicy watermelons and tender corn on the cob and refreshing pasta salads. June is probably my favorite month of the year.
June speaks to me of freedom + slowness and a sort of external permission for my body and soul to find rest, relaxation, and rebooting. No deadlines. Pared down schedules. A deep exhale.
My body and emotions have been whispering to me that I am burned-out. I didn’t see it coming this time, and my pride has been wounded by that realization. I had a misguided belief that because I have a sober attitude towards burn-out, plus a proactive life towards refilling my well, that I had somehow become immune to its exhaustion.
As I look back on the past year, my being empty totally makes sense. I reviewed my Powersheets from January and was reminded that I had written down the need to tend myself, to quiet my life, to recognize the intensity of my parenting season. Somehow from January to June, I neglected to follow-through on what my heart had been telling me, and now I am running on fumes.
I have not written my recovery-from-burnout plan yet because what I need most right now is mind, emotion and body rest. I need sleep and spaces of quiet and a narrow focus on home and children. As I get closer to the beginning of the school year when my already-full-plate becomes fuller, I know that I will need a detailed plan for living well within my limits.
For now though, I am writing a Simple Summer Self-Care Plan:
Sleep as much as I need. My littles aren’t allowed to come out of their rooms until 8am. Then they have cereal and watch an hour of TV. I have no guilt over this any longer and know that it’s just for a season. I sleep until 8:30, if possible. I feel as if I am making up for about 15 years of being under-slept.
Read lots of fiction. My favorite fiction book in 2016 has been The Nightingale.
Watch Netflix shows with Mike. We just finished Parenthood and now we are finishing the final season of Downton Abbey that we missed when our home was having new flooring installed.
Write. Hospitality and events are something that I value deeply and love doing, but when I am burned-out, the imaginary “closed” sign is hung on the door. I find other ways that I can connect, serve and give that don’t tire or require. Writing out my thoughts on this blog or social media gives me a gentle way to be creative, expressive, and engaged with others in a smaller, sustainable way.
As I get deeper into July, I know that this list will change, but for now, lovely smiling June is extending an invitation to me to simply be.