- We cannot give from an empty cup
- Dealing with fatigue from COVID-19 crisis
- What does self care look like for you?
- We can’t beat ourselves up if our lives don’t look like what they used to
The following is a full transcript of a Facebook Live, where Susie is speaking extemporaneously – she is unscripted and unedited.
Hi friends, Susie Miller here. It is a Wednesday, April 21st, 22nd. It is Wednesday at the end of April. I don’t know about you, but does it feel like the days are Groundhog days? Like we are going from one to the other to kind of not even know what day it is? Well, it is Wednesday. I am going to apologize in advance. My allergies are terrible. We are here in Arizona and we have survived the Tree pollen and now we’re into grass pollen. Are allergies bad where you are? If they’re bad, where you are, tell me the allergies that are bad, where you are. Spring is beautiful, but man, when everything blooms, we get all congested and all runny noses and it is not fun. Anyway, I’m killing some time waiting for some folks to get here who wanted to be on live today because today let’s talk about self-care for you in this time of coronavirus crisis because it is tough.
It is hard. And like I said, in the description, we cannot give from an empty cup. Our emotional margin in general is, is, you know, something we have to watch and maintain, but in this time of credit crisis, it is even more difficult to maintain that level of emotional margin. That level of, Hi Robert. Good. Sorry. There is, there are some internet gremlins today. We’re going to try this. I’m going to try to stay on task here with all the distractions, as you can tell, it’s hard, but our emotional tanks are running on empty our emotional margin, our ability to handle kind of incoming potshots or incoming unexpected, or incoming extra stresses. There isn’t any extra that we would normally draw on to be able to do that. The other piece that’s going on, that’s really big and really weighting is what they’re talking about and what the neuroscientists are.
And the psychologists and psychiatrists are calling is fatigue. So, no you’re not lazy. No, you’re not being unmotivated. No, you’re not a, you know, slump lump, you know, horrible person, but you are actually experiencing fatigue on top of being tired. And that fatigue is due to the mental energy. It’s requiring us to be on these video thing. Video chats, video meetings, zoom, Google hangout, a Microsoft team. Because what they’re saying is that in these video meetings, there’s not the physiological energy connection between our bodies. You know, like we draw energy from being around somebody, somebody, and we can read their nonverbal language. We can read, you know what? They’re trying to, their empathy, that when they lean in when they have, you know, different body language, communicating those are empathy or energy or agreement, none of that’s happening in this video world, unless you’re really schooled at it.
And what they’re saying is the requirement mentally that it takes for us to pick up all those cues on these zoom meetings is requiring more of us. So we are fatigued just in the fact that what we used to do naturally in a meeting is requiring more mental, emotional presence. And that makes us even more tired. Now that’s just one aspect of your life, just a zoom meeting, just a Google hangout, just a team meeting on top of that. You’ve got, you know, the worries about business, the worries about kids, the wondering if your kids are ever going to go back to school, I talked to a client yesterday. Who’s worried his kid’s falling behind the worries about your folks who you can’t see. And the other thing that’s a really big deal is normally when we’re in crisis, we have community that surrounds us.
We have community come alongside us, you know, they bring a meal, they, they spell us, you know, with give us a break. So they can be with the people who are struggling. I mean, we have none of that. We are on our own. And so we are fatigued and we are tired. And that’s why today we’re going to talk about self-care. What it looks like to take care of you in the midst of this. And I want to do two things that will give you two suggestions that will help. The first one was born of a client conversation yesterday, as I listened to this very successful woman, beat up on herself for what she hadn’t done. And the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s were really loud. Like neon letters shoulda, woulda, coulda, you know, with all the things that she didn’t get done over the weekend or should do in the evenings.
And this is a really successful woman who is killing it at work. And she was really being hard on herself. And what it reminded me of was that game whack-a-mole, I’ve talked about this before, where you go to the arcade and you play whack-a-mole the moles pop up and you beat them down. And my family and I used to love it. We play three of us on one game and we have our, our mallets and we would kill it and get all these, you know, tickets. But that’s such a great image of whack-a-mole where we whack ourselves. We beat ourselves up, we say unkind things to ourselves. And we think that that doesn’t matter. We think that those ugly words don’t affect us, but they do. They take root in our mind and they put down, you know, tentacles and roots and they live there and then we returned to them over and over again.
And they are defeating thoughts. They are discouraging thoughts. And so one of the very first things I want to ask you to do is put down the bat, stop playing whack-a-mole with yourself. And one of the other reasons I decided to talk about this today was because in talking with my client and listening to her, beat herself up, I just burst into laughter because, Oh my gosh, I’ve been doing the same exact thing. I had been beating myself up for not doing, you know, super exercise routine or eating super good or balancing my schedule and doing things just right. Or, you know, at the end of the day last week, a couple of times I had extra things on my to do list and I was just done. I was emotionally spent and I just moved them to the next day and moving to the next day, moving to the next day, and was feeling very similarly to the successful woman of why, why am I not able to get this done?
What is wrong with me? That’s the question we ask, what is wrong with me? And there is nothing wrong with you. So put down the bat and let’s name the fact that maybe our to do list is too long. Maybe there’s things that we just need to take off our list. And literally, I want you to take the time to write a list of, you know, no longer on my list, back burner list. One of my friends calls it a parking lot. What are you putting in the parking lot of your mind of your life? So that’s no longer in the radar screen of your life because every time that pings on the radar screen of your mind, you’re emotionally taking energy away from yourself. And that’s really important. So step number one, put down the bat, stop saying ugly things about yourself. Here’s the criteria.
If I would not say this to a friend, a close friend, or colleague, I will not say it to myself. If I would not say this to a friend or a colleague, I will not say this about myself. So if you would not look at a colleague and go, well, yeah, you’re lazy for not getting that done last night. Don’t you dare say it to yourself because you cannot be mean to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. One of my friends used to say to me, when she would catch me, beating myself up, be gentle with my friend Susie. So be gentle with my friend, Dan, be gentle with my friend, Michael, be gentle with my friend, Karen, be gentle with my friend, Stephanie. When you say that to yourself, be gentle with my friend, be gentle with yourself. That’s really important. Say kind things to yourself.
Be gentle with my friend, Robert, those are important words that will change the trajectory of your mindset. So we’re putting down the bat, we’re putting down the bat. We’re no longer playing. Whack-A-Mole. The second thing we’re doing is we’re making a list of what goes in the parking lot. And by, you know, our off the radar screen, it’s no longer going to be on the radar screen. What can you shed? What can you let go of? What can wait? Because if you can put those in another list, they will no longer plague you. And you know, if, if being on Pinterest is making you feel bad or Instagram or Facebook about what you’re not getting done. Cause there’s people doing all these projects. There’s people, you know, walking marathons in their yard. There’s people doing all these things that pile on the shoulda woulda could is for us, just press pause on following them.
You do not want to put stuff in your brain right now. That’s not going to help you feel good about who you are and the choices you’re making it is Okay. If you are tired and fatigued and unmotivated and don’t feel like doing anything more than necessary, this crisis is weighty. This crisis is weighty, and we do not want to keep grinding it out. We want to have grace for ourselves, gentleness for ourselves. And so if you have projects that yeah, they’ve been on the list and you think, Oh, I have all this extra time. And then you’re like, wait, I don’t have extra time. I certainly don’t have extra energy. I don’t want to do that project. That’s okay. Put it on the parking lot list on the off my radar screen list. I’m no longer thinking about that. I will get to it another time and just letting go of that pressure will help release some of that tension.
You’ll feel your shoulders come down. You’ll feel your breathing not be so panicked and angry and anxious. And you’ll be less frustrated with yourself. And thus, you can be kinder to yourself. You can be gentler with yourself. It’s okay. If at the end of a hard day, you want to watch TV or you want to just go outside by yourself or take a walk, or you don’t want to do this stuff on your list that you think, Oh, I’m home. So I should be doing this. We really need to give credit and weight to the fact that just surviving in this crisis, just being able to get through some of the daily things is enough. It is hard. We are struggling. You can probably find someone who isn’t and that’s okay. You don’t need to compare yourself to them. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Don’t compare yourself to them, look at your list and go, what can I do to care for myself? I’m going to practice self-care by not beating myself up by not playing whack-a-mole. Poor internet again. Sorry about that. Whatever those winds are, pop your wins in the comments below, what’s a win that you had this week. I don’t care how little it is. One of my favorite quotes from Oprah is you can stop, start a diet in the middle of a bag of potato chips. You put it down. So if that’s your win, I only ate half a bag of potato chips, that’s a win. I got a shower. I was kind to my spouse. I was kind to myself. You know, I, you know, took a walk. I said, no to an extra meeting. I let my kids, you know, schooling be good enough.
And then I let them out to play with whatever they were doing. You know, I was not hard on myself and decided to let screen time rules Ben. So I could be kind to myself and my kids, whatever your win is, stop playing whack whack-a-mole and ask yourself, what’s my win. Say it out loud. So you hear it. Celebrate it, do a little happy dance. And that is great. Self care. Second point of self-care that I want to review one more time. Cause we had a lot of people join us is make a list of what’s off my radar screen. Take it off your radar screen. It can wait till later, if it can wait till later, put it on a list, put it on your desk, on your fridge so that you no longer are carrying the weight of what you think you should have, would have, could have be doing.
Just give yourself a very big dose of grace. You can wait on those things. They don’t have to be done now because you’re at home. They don’t have to be done now because you have an extra half hour. Use that half-hour for self-care for snuggles, with your kids for time with your spouse for time alone, take them off your list off your mind by putting them on a separate list. That’s really important because if you just keep pushing them to the back of your mind, they’re going to show up on that radar screen, ping, ping, ping. And that’s going to drain you as well. So those are two self-care tips for you. I would love for you to say, I’m not going to play whack-a-mole anymore. And I would love for you to tell me in the comments below what is a win that you are celebrating.
The second thing I’d love to hear from you is what are you waiting on for later? We have some reorganization we want to do in our tiny house and move some things around. And that was on my list. And I’m like, Nope, that’s just going to have to wait. That’s going to have to wait until I have more margin, more energy because I need to take care of me. So I have energy for my work and my spouse and myself. So what’s your win and what are you waiting on? Pop them in the comments below. I’d love to hear those from you. Thanks for joining me today. If there’s anything you do want me to talk about PM me. I say this every time or leave it in the comments below and I’ll cover it. As I said, I’m going to switch it up next week.
So this will be our last week of everyday lives. They’re going to be coming at ya. I’m going to do a survey. So look for that on my page as well. Whether we do it two or three times a week because I am here to serve and I am here to help provide information to help you have better relationships with God, yourself and others. I am in your corner. I am cheering you on, make it a great Wednesday by practicing self care, putting down the bat, celebrating your wins, take care, see you tomorrow.