Recently, I received an email from someone that I meet with regularly. She pointed out in a very loving and kind, but direct way that I had been late several times and she invited me to be on time at our next meeting.
“How dare she? I was like….3-4 minutes late at most…ok, well last time I was 6-7 minutes late. Who does SHE thing she is? Is SHE always on time? I do my best. I am a busy mom. I work. Do I really have to be PERFECT all the time? Is there NO room at all to relax and just show up when I do even if it just a few minutes late?”
“Except,” the little voice in my head said, “you aren’t really relaxed, Lisa. You feel pretty stressed out when you are pushing to arrive on time.”
And…here is the truth. I have been fighting against time and the clock for many years. It drives my husband nuts. It bugs my kids. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but for years I’ve been dropping my son off at school and as he gets out of the car, I yell “Run. You can make it! Have a great day honey.” Then I watch him run to get in the door before the bell rang. I feel guilty and then promise myself I will turn over a new leaf the next day.
While my running chronically late has affected others and those that I love, it has also affected my well-being.
Last month I wrote about procrastination being the anti-self-care habit and I touched on being late. Today I want to talk specifically about procrastination’s sibling…the habit of being late.
Being late is stressful. Having JUST barely enough time to arrive at my destination or appointment creates tension and pressure inside of me. I race around, breath shallow, brow furrowed, oblivious to the people or the world around, and without a smile on my face (or a forced smile). My energy is pushing against, rather than flowing with. It doesn’t feel good.
It is disrespectful to my wellness and to those who are left waiting for me.
Working ahead…a concept I wrote about last month is something I am embracing wholeheartedly. I am also transforming the habit of being chronically late to being EARLY.
Being early feels AMAZING! When I arrived 15 minutes early for the above-mentioned meeting…I had time to sip a cup of tea, breathe, relax, and gather my thoughts.
During the last week of school I was arriving to pick up my son early. I would park and looked at the world around me. I breathed deeply and felt relaxed. It was lovely.
Being late is unkind to myself. Being early is an act of self-love.
Working with the clock rather than against it, creates a feeling of being in the flow with love and true wellness. While staying hydrated, exercising regularly, getting proper rest and eating kale are all ways to create health and healing in the body…those things won’t matter to the body much if we are racing around from one endeavor to the next each day.
The chronic stress we experience when running late keeps our body in a state of ‘fight or flight’. Chronic stress keeps our stress hormones flowing which in turn contributes to illness, dis-ease, hormone imbalances, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, sleep challenges and more.
Who needs that? Not me.
Being early invites wellness. Working ahead invites wellness. I am so on board with this. Wanna climb on board with me? Let’s sail on the boat of true wellness. True radiant wellness.
Are you often late or do you have to push to be on time? As an experiment, choose to be 10-15 minutes early this week to your appointments or time commitments. See how this feels in contrast to being late.
Here are 5 tips to support you in being early:
1. Plan less each day. Those of us who are chronically late are often trying to do too much. Look at your schedule and let go of some of the stuff on your to-do list. You don’t have to be superwoman. Trust that the most important activities will get done. Create space in your day so you can relax and breathe.
2. Be an early bird. Get up 30-60 minutes earlier than usual. Take some time to meditate, sit quietly and sip a cup of tea, journal, stretch your body or just breathe. Set an intention for the day. Giving yourself this gift of time sets your day up for success. (Note: this may mean you need to get to bed 30-60 minutes earlier the night before.)
3. Plan into your day that everything will take longer than you think it will. It almost always does.
4. Set a timer or alarm for 30 minutes before you need to head to your next appointment. Give yourself plenty of time to go to the bathroom, find your keys, fill up your water bottle, or do or get whatever else you may need to. Leave earlier than you need to.
5. Intentionally slow down as you move through your day. Consciously breathe, look at the world around you, and allow yourself to feel relaxed. Don’t mistake being productive for rushing. We can accomplish more and at a higher quality when we are calm and centered.
I invite you to join with me in creating the self-care habit of being early.
Share with me how it goes. I would love to know and support you in creating whole life radiant wellness.