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On Self-Care and Not Living a Frantic Life

CT park, waterI recently read this excellent piece by author Shauna Niequist that speaks to something I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to articulate or maybe really pinpoint: She’s done with the hustle. She’s done with feeling frantic.

She writes:

You know what I’m talking about: when your mind has to work seven steps ahead instead of just being where you are, because this deadline’s coming, and the laundry has to get done before that trip, because you can’t forget to pack snowpants for school, and you need to beg for more time on this project. Again.

Kindergarten drop-off is at noon, and that gives me just enough time to squeeze in this meeting and pick up the dry-cleaning and talk through those five pressing things with my editor. While I’m on the phone I prep vegetables for dinner, and if Mac takes a good nap, I can get packed for the next trip, as long as the laundry is dry.

And on and on and on, times seven years.

That’s why Niequist has adopted what she calls “a ruthless anti-frantic policy.” Before she says yes to any request, she asks herself this valuable question: “Will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way?”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what your life looks like. That is, you don’t have to be an author or a parent or a regular traveler like Niequist. You might work from home. You might commute hours into the city for work. You might work across the street. You might have kids. You might have grandkids. You might not have children. You might have a partner. You might be single. You might live in a teeny tiny town. You might live in a big, bustling city.

Whatever the specifics, you, too, might be tired. Oh-so tired. A weariness you wear every day. A weariness that sticks to your skin like honey.

Is that because your life is frantic? Does it feel frantic? Are you tired of all the hustle and bustle? Would you like to slow down? What can you stop doing? Where can you stop holding on so tightly? Where can you ask for help?

I think asking ourselves these questions regularly is a powerful way to check in with ourselves. It’s a powerful start to taking good care of ourselves. Because once we can understand what we’re needing, what we’re missing, how we’re feeling or what’s worrying us, we can make important changes.

We can create beautiful lives: Lives filled with meaning and wonder and the things we need.

I found Niequist’s piece thanks to Nicole’s blog post.

On Self-Care and Not Living a Frantic Life

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2015). On Self-Care and Not Living a Frantic Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Nov 2015
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