30 ways to stay upright while exhausted.

Dec 03, 2021
Kemi Nekvapil holding a book

We made it to December!

If you joined me on Wednesday for Reflections on 2021, I hope it gave you what you needed to honour what 2021 has meant for you.

I rarely re-post my Weekly Words, but I feel this is as important as last year. Maybe it is more important because we are carrying the compounding effects of the previous two years.

Me, my family, my friends and my clients; are all exhausted. A level of exhaustion that we are living with because we have to. It doesn’t mean that we are not finding moments of connection, inspiration, and life satisfaction. It means that along with all of these experiences, there is profound exhaustion.

Last year, a Weekly Words reader told me she was ‘crawling to Christmas’.

When I responded to her email, I said that weeks of crawling would hurt her knees, so how could she pad them just a little.

Yesterday I spoke to a client who told me that she was also holding on until Christmas. Still, she knew that as soon as she finished work for the year, she would probably get sick for most of her holidays because that has been a reoccurring theme for her when she does not attend to her needs along the way.

My concern for many is that the ‘pushing through’ will negatively impact the holiday season so desperately needed. And if you do not get a holiday because you work through this time of year, padding your knees is even more critical.

So here is the list I wrote last year, a list of small and big ‘knee padders’ to encourage you to do what you need to finish this year, fully upright.

  1. You do not need to answer the phone the moment it rings. You can respond when you are ready instead of reacting in the moment unless you are a paramedic, in which case ignore this one.
  2. Get into nature more and more and more.
  3. Garden lots.
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone.
  5. Stop responding to emails after a particular time of day and stay ‘stopped.’
  6. Set up an out of office letting people know you will respond within 24/48/72 hours. (We are happy to wait if we know how long we are waiting for.)
  7. Go to bed earlier.
  8. Wake up later.
  9. Drink more water.
  10. Buy yourself some luxury bath/shower products and use them.
  11. Cancel things.
  12. Postpone things.
  13. Say no to the unnecessary meeting.
  14. Say no to the social event you do not want to attend. ( I had a friend pretend she was only half vaccinated, so she could not attend an event!). That’s how hard it is for some women to say ‘No.’
  15. Don’t do any Christmas shopping – for the last five years, just before Christmas, I take a whole weekend off and make love-filled jams or chutney, and everyone gets the same gift).
  16. Watch old school comedy.
  17. Make something beautiful.
  18. If you can get away, even for a morning or afternoon, get away.
  19. Turn off the news.
  20. Hug some trees.
  21. Lessen your social media interactions or stop for a period; it will still be there when you return.
  22. Write a thank you card to someone who has supported you this year.
  23. Nap. Nap. Nap.
  24. Let go of anything you think you ‘should’ do.
  25. Treat yourself to a big bunch of stunning flowers for your desk for the next few weeks. Or forever, which I highly suggest!
  26. Stop listening to podcasts that will ‘improve’ you or your business for the rest of the year.
  27. Stop reading personal development books that will ‘improve you’ for the rest of the year. Nap instead.
  28. Read the books you loved as a child.
  29. Lower your expectations of yourself and others.
  30. Delete. Delegate. Defer.

I hope you find at least one of these suggestions helpful. There is nothing new here, but we all need reminding sometimes.

I would love to know what little things you are or are not doing so that you can go into your holiday season upright.

Wishing you a weekend of padding your knees.

Kemi xxx

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