When I greeted my client today and asked how she was doing she told me she was OK. . . . . In other words she wasn’t really OK. When I inquired further she told me she hadn’t had much to eat today, that she felt tired. We talked about how to proceed with our clutter clearing project, given how she was feeling. Once we’d agreed on our approach and focus we got to work.
This client is a busy inner-city elementary school principal. She is very capable and it’s not unusual that she presents at our sessions as tired and stressed. What was unusual was her admitting that she didn’t feel well. I kept that in mind as I worked with her. About 30 minutes before the end of our two hour session she complained about feeling hot and was not experiencing a hot flash. She decided that a snack might help her feel better, and rather than snack while we continued to work, she chose to take a break and eat a yogurt and drink some water in an adjoining conference room. It was VERY unusual for this client to stop working altogether because she is all about getting things done. Clearly something was not right!
For the next 10 minutes I worked independently to help move her along despite her need to stop. When I got to a point that I could not proceed without her input I joined her in the next room. There we talked about her symptoms and the possible causes of her discomfort: dehydration, a blood pressure drop, a reaction to food she had at lunch, and a blood sugar drop. When I informed her that you can become dehydrated after 15 minutes of concentrated work, she drank several additional bottles of water. The more water she drank, the more she perked up and she eventually felt much better.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because her behavior reminded me that self-care is an important part of successful clutter clearing. Following are several ways you can ensure that you arrive at that challenge as your best, most empowered self:
- Be well rested.
- Make sure you have good fuel for your brain–preferably some protein and fresh fruits or vegetables. Avoid simple carbohydrates like sugar and wheat-based products.
- Be well hydrated and plan to sip water while you work to avoid dehydration.
Your body and your brain are tools that need to be in the best possible shape to tackle the challenging process of decision-making involved in clutter clearing. If your body or your brain shut down, you must stop. Make attending to your physical self-care a priority any time you plan to clear clutter.