I am not, for the most part, a stress head, but I have struggled this week.
I have had a tax return to complete, I've been worried that my financial future was looking a little 'insecure,' one of my daughters had a concern about her football training, my partner and son were ill and everything just felt very overwhelming. On the scale of it, not that big a deal, but sometimes everything feels like it comes at once.
This probably doesn't seem like it has any connection to living a 'tread lightly' life, but you know that saying about getting your own house in order? I am, in fact, completely useless to anyone if I don't put my own health top of the list. And when it all feels like it's caving in, I've learnt to prioritise my mental wellbeing actually and sincerely for the good of the planet!
And here's the thing: it's OK asking people to recycle, to change their bodywash for soap, to choose organic and fresh over processed ready meals, to help them grow a carrot, but you need to be at the top of your game to make those decisions. If you're worried about when your key card's going to run out, if the kids have remembered their PE kits, what that naggly pain in your chest actually is or whether the bailiffs will be visiting today,, then these issues slip to the bottom of your list. Of course they do! So living sustainably has to be about YOU and YOURS first and foremost.
I try to practise a little mindfulness at times like this. Not in any heavyweight way, but just to bring me into the present again. I look for actions that I can take right now, even if it's one small step, and work through them one by one. I don't beat myself up if I can't cope with one of them - I just put it off for a bit, for when I'm in a better place. And I try not to dwell on what *might* happen, because in all reality, it probably won't and if it does, I'll sort it when I get there. And I do this...
I walk. And I breathe. And I try and create a little headspace.
Two days ago, I could've cried rather than deal with the day ahead. By this evening, I've tackled one enormous admin headache, appeased a disquieted child, my loved people are on the mend, I've chased up and sorted an irritating financial issue from 2009 (yes, that long! I can procrastinate with the best of them!) and I've had a phone call that could turn everything around. It's not everything, and other stuff will crop up, but it's progress, and that feels good. It feels better.
So just for a moment, forget about saving the world and spend a few minutes saving yourself. Give yourself the gift of headspace. For without you, we are all nothing! xx
Treading Lightly is simple living, within your means and the means of the planet, and making a minimal impact on the Earth. Find out more here about Catherine, of Barefoot Solutions, does this from day to day.