Doing All The Things
I am a recovering overachiever, or a perfectionist in remission. Essentially I used to find it hard to stop until it was almost too late and total, unglamorous death by “doing” had set in.
The female body is an intricate tapestry of beautiful threads that, when all woven together in good working order, can achieve miraculous things—like making a baby.
Growing toes, ears, a nose, a nervous system, bones, and organs is hard work. When your body is busy building baby bits, there is no room for being an overachiever on other tasks. This is most important work. And when you are postpartum or perhaps just the work of being a woman is enough (believe me it is), there is no space for martyr, you simply must take time for yourself, so you can show up for the world, full and rested.
In our society today, as women, we are faced with all types of overachiever / Defender of The Realm responsibilities, and we welcome them. We really are very good at multitasking and achieving great things in many various roles. We have nailed overachieving. Nailed it. And to our dismay, this is causing all kinds of trouble in our lives, including adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. It is most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress. Adrenal fatigue is not just physical fatigue. Feeling tired in our bodies is merely one form of stagnancy we desperately try to walk (run) through, and most of the time fall short. It’s main symptom is exhaustion, but it also involves an emotional entropy that can be far more harmful.
I know some women, and perhaps you do too, who are complacent. They have just decided to accept their lot in life. They are busy, tired, sometimes happy, mostly unhappy, and generally numb.
I also know exuberant, connected, and grounded women. I believe they are that way because they have done the work to become mavens. They have waded through the muck with humility, and kicked the proverbial ass of emotional and physical fatigue. How do they do it? Do they achieve more? Are they better at this life thing, this perfection thing? No. No, they do less. They have chosen to find space in their lives for restful practice.
If you are like many of the women I see in my role as a doula, when you got pregnant, you tried to remain enrolled in all the tasks you formerly had scheduled, and in fact you tried to be even better at achieving those goals, because you have to do it all and now there’s a deadline—your so-called “due date”. Now is not the time to be cut off at the knees with a silly pregnancy. In the quest to do more, be better mothers, lovers, friends, children, and employees or entrepreneurs, it can be easy to get caught in the crossfire of adrenal fatigue. The syndrome manifests both physically and metaphysically. In short: we’re unaware of the imbalances in our body because we are not listening to what our body is telling (yelling at) us.
Please listen, I implore you. Your beautiful, bod needs you to be nurtured and whole. Please take peace in knowing that it’s okay to pause other tasks while you are doing whatever important work you are doing, and beyond.
What does that pause look like if you are already balancing children, a partner, a career, four legged friends, and a cheque book? It doesn’t have to be as extravagant as a trip to a deserted island, a stack of books, endless snacks, an ocean view and a down quilt. It can simply be the act of daily restful practice.
The act of daily restful practice.
Sounds nice doesn’t it, and not too fancy, maybe even doable. And just fancy enough to bring you some serenity so that you can build a baby or recover from building a baby, or if there is no baby in sight, just recover from the doing ALL the things bullshit.
Maybe a few minutes is just enough to navigate a path between overachieving and adrenal fatigue towards freedom. Because there’s freedom in doing a little nothing.
Georgia’s top five daily restful practices
- Sleep: that could mean three naps if you are in your first trimester (or slep while your baby is sleeping, or just pause lady), or it could mean one nap while listening to a Tibetan Sound meditation. Take a nap. Just lay the eff down, would you?!! And I don’t mean midnight, flop-into-bed-I-am-so-tired kind of sleep. I mean EXTRA sleep. While the sun kisses your nose in mid afternoon, and tea is your bedfellow.
- Meditation: simply pausing and connecting to your breath. You can also listen to a podcast meditation, there are so many. I love this meditation series by The Live Awake project soooo much. Check it our here
- Listening to the ocean: perhaps you don’t live anywhere near the ocean, but there are a ton of apps that will support a few stolen moments to drift into the waves. Like my favourite one right here. Water is a place of rebirth. Simply plug in for 5 minutes and let the “doing” fall away.
- Yoga: even if you don’t have 60–90 minutes for the full-meal-deal yoga class a couple of times a week, don’t dismay. I would actually prefer it if you had 20 minutes a day for a mini yoga appetizer. You can carry your yoga mat in the trunk of your car, or the back of your bike and get bendy anywhere with this app. The best part: Savasana. Lay the eff down (have I said that?). Remember that one.
- Affirmation: hearing, or even better, saying a mantra or set of positive, loving words over and over. See my blog post “No Thank You!!” for more