Now that the stresses and fun of the past month or so have passed, I’m looking forward to the mixed blessing of a flexible summer schedule.
I mean, I love having my evenings free and since I work for myself, at home, I can shift things around to take advantage of good weather or some pop-up fun.
Since my brain has a very casual relationship with time under any circumstances, the flexibility of summer can also be a challenge for me. If I don’t make my decisions in advance or if I don’t pay close attention to how I spend my time, I can suddenly find myself at the end of summer, frustrated about all of the things I missed out on for no good reason.
So, one of my projects for this weekend is to figure out how I want to spend my summer.
I’m considering when to work and when to rest (and thinking about what ‘rest’ includes). I’m figuring out what to include in my day-to-day and which larger summer activities I want to organize and do. I’m thinking about the projects I want to complete in the house and in the yard and deciding when I’d like to work on them.
Basically, I want to make sure that I actively choose a shape for my summer instead of just reacting moment by moment.
(By the way, if a summer of reacting moment by moment is your ideal, please have at it! Do what works for you.)
I’m planning to include things like revising my novel, practicing my TKD patterns outside where there’s more room, hula-hooping, going swimming, reading in my hammock, taking a few hikes, taking Khalee on longer walks, going for longer bike rides, creating some zines, and spending a lot of time hanging out outdoors with my friends.
What do YOU have planned for your summer? Let me know in the comments!
Or if it isn’t summer where you are, what do you have planned for the next few months?
I tried to make this into a sensible, all-encompassing post with a unified message.
It didn’t work.
So, here are three fitness/wellness/self-care things that are on my mind right now:
1) Being in the in-between
I am feeling no need to try to be productive or to try and accomplish anything this week but I don’t want to fall into the mindless blah of the in-between.
Writing my daily ‘Making Space’ posts and taking walks with Khalee are just enough to keep my days from being too aimless while still being pretty chill.
2) 12 Days of Yoga
This has proven to be more challenging than I thought it would be. I have done yoga everyday but sometimes I am doing the practice from memory rather than going along with the video.
It’s not that I don’t have time and I am physically able to do it. I just have had some unexpected things crop up and I’m surprised at how tricky it has been to work around them and get the video on at a time when I can do it.
That being said, though, I am finding a real difference in how my hips feel when I do the circular sort of movement that Adriene demonstrates to get into extended child’s pose.
3) Making Space -> Go Team
Since December 1, I have been doing a daily ‘Making Space’ post to remind us to make space for ourselves in our own lives.
On January 1, I’m going to switch over to ‘Go Team’ daily posts. Those posts will be about encouraging you to be kind to yourself as you adopt new habits and routines in the new year.
Obviously, you can start a new habit or routine at any point in the year. But, since lots of people enjoy using January 1 as a starting point, I’m going to gather up a big bag of encouragement and travel along with you, handing it out like snacks on a road trip.
And, as always, I’ll be awarding gold stars for your efforts.
Sooooo, what have you been up to since last Tuesday?
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, or some Christmas-like event, or at least for those of us who end up on a different schedule between December 24 & January 1, we are currently at the time of year when the days all run together.
Routines are off kilter – meals happen at weird times, we’re eating a lot of different foods, and our sleep patterns have gone out the window.
This is when we lose all sense of time and end up in a holi-daze.
An especially dangerous thing for those of us on Team ADHD who have a tenuous grasp on the concept in the first place.
In this odd year, that out-of-phase feeling has been recurring for most of us. The things that give shape to our year have been changed and time has been expanding and contracting around tasks/plans/activities as they mostly moved online.
I think, though, that having that out-of-phase feeling recur so often this year has made me realize (Re-realize? Possibly!) how important schedules are for my mental health.
In previous years, this week would find me with all kinds of lofty ideas about just letting the days progress in any old way, seeing what might appeal to me to do at any given time.
I have encountered some fun days that way in the past but mostly, I end up feeling a bit scattered and let down by the end of the day.
Because, as much as the idea of spending a day drifting from task to task might have appeal, in reality, I know that I won’t drift pleasantly from task to task.
Instead, I’ll spend the whole day feeling vaguely dissatisfied and with a looming sense that I should be doing something else.
So, I create a plan for my week and then a shape for each day so my atemporal brain won’t leave me in the in-between with a feeling of frustrated sadness.
Making a loose plan for my week and then giving each day a shape makes me choose how I am going to spend my time. It helps me notice if I am trying to cram too many different things into the time that I have. And creating that shape lets me do important preparatory things like saving enough time to actually make the meals I plan to eat or to drive to the places I want to be.
And, yes, giving my days a shape does include a (fairly flexible) schedule and some rough time limits for my chosen activities.
I know to some this will sound like ‘Christine doesn’t know how to relax.’ but this approach is actually the key to my relaxation.
For starters, these plans and shapes do not necessarily involve work. My plan for the week includes holiday activities, some special meals, and hanging out with people on Zoom. My shape for a given day might be to read a book for an hour after breakfast, to do some drawing for 45 minutes before lunch, and then to take a long walk at 3pm.
And having that plan, that schedule, is actually restful. It means that time won’t gallop away from me.
It means that I won’t spend the whole week figuring out when to do which activity. And I won’t spend each day continuously trying to decide if now is the ‘right’ time to read, to draw, or to head out for a walk.
And, having that plan, that shape, lets me make stress-free decisions when someone asks me if I want to do something else. If my plan is to go for a walk at 3, and someone asks me to watch a movie at 2, knowing the shape of my day means that I can more easily decide whether to change the time of my walk or to say no to the movie.*
If I know that I have enough time for the things that I really want to do, that I won’t run out of time, that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing at any given time, my brain will stop looping around ‘Now? How about now?’ and give me some ease.
And if that’s not a recipe for a holiday, I don’t know what is.
*Perhaps, to the Neurotypical, this may look like overthinking, or as if I am making a big deal out of something simple, but for my ADHD brain, a holiday schedule is a relief. And, I thought that anyone who finds themselves in a holi-daze might borrow some of these ideas for themselves.