Two weeks after moving from Brighton to Manchester I find myself back down South for — two weeks. Two weeks seems to be my magic number at the moment. In fact, due to one thing and another, I won’t be living in Manchester for more than two weeks at a time until October. Right now I’m in London for my first paid theatre-making job. It’s amazing, I’m excited about the process but I’m also aware of how much I’m going to need to focus (even more) on self-care over this time.
When I’m busy I need self-care the most but, because I’m busy, I feel like I don’t have time. There’s a Buddhist saying I read recently and it goes like this:
“Everyone should meditate for twenty minutes everyday, unless he doesn’t have time. Then he should do it for an hour”
July’s Happiness Project theme is nourish and I did worry when setting the theme how it would go for these weeks living and working here in London. Will I be able to make decisions that nourish me and support my self-care whist here? Even the me of last year (not so long ago) would have had a pretty hard time of it. But this year’s me is willing to try. If I don’t come back from these two weeks totally wiped out, I will consider my nourishing a success.
Perhaps the work itself can even be nourishing? It’s my view that the arts are here to nourish us, and I’ve always found it ironic that those working in the sector get so burnt out. Is it possible for theatre to nourish the creators as much as the audience?
I really hope so, because this is the kind of work I want to make and the kind of life I want to lead.
No more burn out!
A few things I’ve done so far to help make this a nourishing time…
Brought half my kitchen with me
I’m a pretty minimal packer these days, so bringing less clothes meant I had space in the suitcase for my nutribullet to make smoothies and juices each day; my exciting squishable lunch box (space saving and money saved on lunch); and my thermos because can you really nourish without tea?
Packed my yoga mat towel
This after deciding I couldn’t fit a whole mat, but determined to continue with my practice. The towel is pretty good as it has rubber grips on the bottom so I don’t slide all over the hard-wood floor.
Brought along some Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils
To help calm and rejuvenate. I’m also making sure to check my mindset throughout the day, remember to take time for some deep breaths and to practice gratitude.
Last year’s me would never have thought to bring all the above seeing the essential oils, for example, as an extravagance. I probably would have packed more clothes, but I’m hoping these things I’ve brought will nourish more than the extra outfits will (if having extra outfits nourishes you, though, totally go for it!).
Is there anything in particular you do/take with you for time away to help keep yourself nourished?