Last month my family adopted a cute puppy named Leah from our local animal shelter (see at the end of the newsletter for a cute pic!).
Leah has to learn everything: how to take walks; what not to eat outside; where to go potty; and how to tell us when she needs something. We also have to learn how to take care of Leah and understand what she needs. There is a learning curve for sure.
It has been a lesson in extreme patience. Some days we are doing alright, and other days are chaotic. Some days we get it right, other days we don’t. Eventually, we will find a rhythm but it is going to take some time.
How often are we impatient with our own progress, especially as it relates to our self care? We spend many years doing something one way and it is our default. Then we pick up a new habit, expecting it to change in a few days. This can feel frustrating, unless we keep this in mind-doing a new thing has a few steps.
Doing something new requires two parts:
- Learning a new way of being/doing
- Implementing that new way of being/doing consistently.
Sometimes we go straight to implementing a self care routine without first learning ourselves and what might work best for our current situation. As a parent to two kids, some self care practices that worked pre-kiddos just don’t work anymore. I have to explore and find new things that might fit into the heavenly chaos that is my life as a human parent and puppy parent.
Once you find something that fits, then the key is to do it consistently over time until it feels like a regular part of your routine. Sometimes you take this small steps (ie meditating for 1 minute, then increasing a few minutes; getting in bed a little earlier each day until you get to your ideal bedtime). The key here is consistency over time. It might take you a few weeks to get a rhythm.
That is where patience comes in.
Patience means you keep showing up. That you celebrate the small, incremental wins. And that you keep going even on days when things don’t work out so well. It also means giving yourself grace as you learn how to do something in a new way.
How can you exercise more patience with yourself these days? What self care ritual are you going to return back to with more patience as you make it work for you and your current life?