Things I’ve Learned from My Cat

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This is probably the strangest blog title I’ve ever written…..but bear with me on this one……

We all have busy lives and there are days when it feels like we’ll never get everything done. For most people, the first thing to fall by the wayside during busy times is time for yourself.

This has been particularly true for me lately. I’ve been wondering how I’m going to fit everything in.  So today I took a moment away from the computer and thus away from the growing to do list and decided to spend a bit of time with my cat. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m “owned” by my cat who is appropriately called “Cranky”.

Now Cranky isn’t just your everyday cat. I believe as does anyone that has ever met him, that he’s actually not a cat, he’s a person stuck in a cat’s body. On a daily basis it’s not uncommon for him to turn the air conditioner on in the lounge room if he’s hot, visit the local post office when we’re out or meow constantly if he decides that he would like some attention.

It was when I was playing with him that I realised, I’ve never met a cat who is “too busy” to take a moment to stretch in the sun; or persist in getting the attention of its owner when it wants someone to play with him. So, why can’t we be more like a cat when it comes to taking care of ourselves?

sometimes-the-most-important-thing-inThe following are some thoughts that can help you care out some time for yourself. Even when the world is screaming for your attention.

  1. Say NO to anything that isn’t important.  There are so many systems of sorting items on your to do list into urgent, important, not urgent and not important categories.
  2. Ask for help. People who are constantly busy are actually admired by others, because they appear to be so efficient and get so much done. Our society does seem to value busyness and some people seem to consider it a badge of honour. Sometimes you need to admit that you can’t do it all by yourself. You may be surprised at the response you get, but you won’t get the help you need if you don’t ask.
  3. Write things down. When you’re busy, you mind is usually working overtime. Writing things down anchors them somewhere other than in your mind, which will help you be more calm and relaxed.
  4. Set limits for yourself and stick with them.  Allot times to specific tasks and stop after your allotted time is up. There are so may things in life that will never be ‘completely done’. Celebrate your progress and don’t beat yourself up over what isn’t finished yet.
  5. stressed-cartoonReward yourself. Give yourself small rewards for tasks you’ve accomplished. Whether it’s five minutes watching your favourite reality program during the middle of the day or going to a movie during the week. Even small rewards can serve as small motivators
  6. Unplug. Cut back on your online activities (as long as you don’t cut back on reading our blog!). Turn off you mobile phone, even just for a few hours. However a tip – if you are generally always on your mobile, email family and friends to tell them that you are going to unplug from the world for a while and that everything is ok.
  7. Make time for yourself. Just like my cat Cranky does – if he wants something, he is VERY persistent until he gets it and his priority is always making time for himself.
  8. BREATHE! Take a deep, cleansing breath whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. As Etty Hillesum once said “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”