“Keep your head clear. It doesn’t matter how bright the path is if your head is always cloudy.” -Unknown
Some days seem to start with a proverbial rain cloud dripping above our beds.
I had one of those days on Sunday. I didn’t sleep well on Friday or Saturday because I have a medical condition that sometimes wakes me in the middle of the night, so I woke up on Sunday feeling irritable and grouchy.
My boyfriend’s voice sounded like nails down a chalkboard. To be clear, I love him dearly, and I also love the sound of birds chirping. But in that moment, I wished I had a mute button because everything annoyed me.
I argued with him over something silly, and then felt horrible. Both of us work through the weekends, and despite my honest apology, I felt unhappy with myself and resistant to doing anything.
But doing nothing was not an option, so I pushed myself. I started our laundry, opened my computer, and then pulled out my to-do list.
Right then I realized: this is not the energy I ever want to bring to my work. Since I was feeling off-balanced and moody, the only option was to stop. To do nothing. To take a break, take a breath, and give myself space to create a better state of mind.
Sometimes it feels like there’s no time for this. We have responsibilities, people depending on us, things that need to get done. It can be tempting to just plow through, even if we’re not in a great headspace—after all, we don’t want to compromise our productivity.
The irony, though, is that taking 5–10 minutes for a short walk or some grounding breaths can make a profound difference in our efficiency.
We do everything more effectively when we come to it from a place of calmness—which means making time to take care of ourselves can actually be the best thing for our work and our goals.
But more importantly, taking time to clear our heads is a kind thing to do, for ourselves and other people. We live up there all day, every day, and whether we realize it or not, our thinking affects everyone around us.
So today I invite you to join me in prioritizing composure. Take the time you need. You deserve it—and so do your work and your relationships.
Photo by Wonderlane