She’s a pro, my Little Pirate. On day three of our holiday with one of my best friends, the Archeologist, and his three kids, she’s wearing her oversized pyjamas, my vest, and her favourite stuffed bunny is within reaching distance at all times. She’s quiet, a little introverted, but relaxed. Every now and then she comes for a hug, reinforcing the safety she feels being close to me.

Nothing is wrong today. She’s simply regulating her nervous system by small acts of self-care. I let her wear those pyjamas. I don’t ask my vest back. I cuddle her time after time and make her that sandwich when she asks, even though she’s well capable of doing that herself.

I know from workshops and festivals that the third day often is an intense day. The emotional body gets tired. The up of the excitement comes to a down. That’s balance.

Regulation, the act of taking care of our nervous system, finding ways to relax, is what we need in those moments. Time alone, a hug, comforting clothes or items, sitting in nature, some words of affirmation, a deep breath, or whatever it is for you. FOMO, the fear of missing out, sometimes prevents me from stepping away from the excitement – but doing that is exactly what I need in such a moment.

We cannot always be in an extrovert, explorative, connective mode. We cannot always challenge ourselves and be outside our comfort zone at all times.

Compassion for ourselves, and those around us is such an important thing.