Seriously. Check in with your bladder. How long have you been holding it? …pretending not to notice that you’re crossing your legs so you don’t have to walk all the way down the hall to the bathroom just to get that last paragraph written, send the important email before you forget, make a quick phone call, attend to that sticky note on your computer?
Consider this a friendly public service announcement. Potty breaks are the most basic form of self-care. It’s silly that I have to remind you, I know, and you’re chuckling about it – but am I right?
When I was in the throes of corporate life (working my not-really-part-time, part-time job) I routinely neglected bio breaks in favor of being available and productive in case anyone doubted my worthiness or abilities. You see right there is the underlying issue… when we don’t feel worthy, we don’t practice self-care. I would find myself practically running to the restroom with my purse, laptop bag, and breastpump in tow on my way out of the office – rushing so as not to incur the $25 late charge for picking up my kids after daycare closed. Every single time as I was finally releasing the pressure of my bladder full-to-bursting, I would ask myself “Why didn’t I do this two hours ago? What is so damn important that I can’t take a pee?”
Working from home today is a little easier, my bathroom is nearby. Although when I really get on a role with some exciting project I can sometimes fall into the same behavior. However, I am much more adept at taking cues from my body before it’s almost too late. Why is this? Because I practice. Self-care is my daily practice which has grown over time into my lifestyle. And the good news is, anyone can begin with just small steps.
Here’s a nice one to start with: I call it my ‘waking practice.’ Every morning when I awake, I no longer jump out of bed to ‘hit the ground running.’ Instead I choose to take one to three minutes noticing I am awake before even opening my eyes. I scan my body from my toes up to the crown of my head very slowly, checking in with each section, ‘listening’ for anything that might require extra love or attention. And that is it. This practice attunes me to my body and what she needs.
Begin to practice this and you develop a much more loving and less abusive relationship with your own body. (Your bladder thanks you!)
Then, print out the image above and replace some of those insidious sticky-note reminders with this. Don’t be surprised if your co-workers want a copy of it too. Better yet – stick it up in the bathroom!
See you in the loo, Maddy