What can we do to feel more human today? Some days we may feel like we are running on autopilot, or like robots perpetually running on empty. This is especially true when the spaces in our lives squeeze together. Parenting, care-giving, crises, and life transitions have the potential of squeezing our self-care abilities below the bare minimum, leaving us in a self-care deficit.
When we are in the middle of “the squeeze,” the things that used to be nourishing or important tend to take a back seat to the more urgent or pressing tasks at hand. This way of living is unavoidable at times, but cannot be sustained for long periods without impacting health and emotional wellness. What can we do to feel mostly human?
In her book, The Life Organizer, Jennifer Louden discusses the practice of allocating minimum requirements for self-care, or MRSC’s.
“MRSC’s are the basic things you need to stay in touch with yourself, to have a strong foundation to meet the rather constant challenges of life, and to ease the noise in your head. Things like loving yourself with yoga, getting enough sleep, being outdoors in the teasing spring wind, saying no to a great invite because you need time to putter alone. They aren’t sexy, they aren’t earth shattering, but without them, you tend to get all blurry and knotty and resentful.” Jennifer Louden
What are your MRSC’s? What are the very basic, simplest, minimal things that are essential to feel human each day? When we allow ourselves even the bare minimum, we may be able to navigate the difficult stretches of our lives in a more sustainable and compassionate way.
Helpguide.org has some great ideas on how to manage stress and nourish ourselves. Some of these include:
- Go for a walk
- Spend time in nature
- Call a good friend
- Sweat out tension with a good workout
- Write in your journal
- Take a long bath
- Light scented candles
- Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea
- Play with a pet
- Work in your garden
- Get a massage
- Curl up with a good book
- Listen to music
- Watch a comedy”
When life is more open, we will have time for each one of these tools and many more. But, when the space in life narrows, choosing one or two things a day, the basic MRSC’s, will go a long way in helping us feel more human.
I visited with a male friend of mine and he shared his list of MSRC’s:
- A cup of coffee in the morning
- Riding his motorcycle to work
- The satisfaction of finishing at least one significant work task
- Tasty food
- Coming home to family
- Time in the recliner
- Quiet time after everyone’s gone to bed
Some of my personal MRSC’s are:
- Hugs and I Love You’s
- Daily vitamins
- Plenty of sleep, including occasional naps
- Basic nutrition
Occasionally throughout the week:
- Walking in nature
Every person is different, so take some time and notice what little things make the day a little better. Then, add a couple of these into your daily routine and notice what happens.