My real estate agent called me and said, in a calm but urgent tone, “I know you just had a baby and the timing is really bad… but do you think we could show your condo to a prospective buyer in a few hours?”

I had given birth 3 weeks before this phone call. My newborn was in my arms, nursing. My 2-year old toddler was upstairs in her room, making a mess of her room (as they do). Dishes piled in the sink. Leftover pasta from lunch on my daughter’s high chair. And the sound of our sweet, but very sick, cat throwing up in the living room.

“Sure, no problem. I can totally have this place show-ready by 5 pm!” Is what I did not say.

But I didn’t curse [too much] and I did say “yes, okay, thank you, I’ll figure it out.”

Then, it happened.

You know how sometimes, somehow, you amaze yourself at what you accomplish? Whether it’s a tough project or a hot yoga class or another day in parenting?

Well, I cleaned that condo like a freaking tornado. Our agent showed it on time. Then she called me just after. With an offer. As-is condition. For our asking price.

I was over. the. moon. (And thank g*d it worked. I’m writing this to you while sitting in front of a crackling fireplace in my refuge of a new home. Ahhh.)

But, that phone call was also the start of a super-tough to-do list (including selling most of our stuff, packing up the rest, finishing the condo sale and, finally, moving myself and our babies and our sick cat over the ocean).

Tired? You know it.

Overwhelmed? Every. Day.

Done? Nope, not yet. The transition is less drastic, but ongoing.

Spoiler alert: self-care has been the key to getting through this time. But there are 2 words in particular that help every single time that I find myself spinning: be still.

This seems so, I don’t know, obvious. But it isn’t. Because when you’re spinning, you’re not being still.

Stillness helps because it literally slows us down when we’re moving too quickly. We need it the same way we need brakes for a car.

Whether it’s physical movement or mind chatter, the answer is the same. Be still. It’s really that simple.

And it doesn’t take long. You can take a 30-minute nap… or a 30-second stillness break. The quantity of time doesn’t matter. The consciousness of each moment does.

So, the next time that you find yourself overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, spinning, too busy, any or all of the above, remember your new 2-word best friend: be still.

It’s one of the most subtle self-care shifts you can make, and one that can make the biggest difference in your decisions, reactions, and experience in this life.