As we enter spring and summer there is a freshness in the air that is allowing us a fresh start. What would it be like to take this time to focus on you? What would it be like to spend some time with yourself, asking yourself the important questions, and then listening to the answers?
The important questions like; what do I really want and need, am I doing what I LOVE and am I passionate about my work AND my personal life, do I have the balance or integration of work/life that is ideal for me?
We spend a great deal of time asking questions and finding answers but it is rare that we spend as much time with ourselves, checking in and seeing what the parts of us that are hidden need. Self-care is so much more than the basics. We think of self-care sometimes as eating and sleeping. Yes, that is self-care but there is so much more to it as well.
We define ourselves with the roles that we play in life. Mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, therapist, trainer, teacher, healer etc. When was the last time that you defined who you are INDEPENDENT of the roles you play in life? Who are YOU? If the roles that you play were to disappear who and how would you be? What would you do if you only had yourself to please?
When I ask people this question it gets a variety of answers. Some look at me like I have lost my mind, some people are really disturbed by the thought, most say to me “I have no idea and that thought has never crossed my mind”.
I invite you to spend some time doing just that. Look at the values that you uphold. What do you do on a daily basis to ensure that you are supporting the values that you have chosen for your life. Do you base every decision you make on those values? Do these values show who you are and what is important to you independent of the roles you play? Do you know how you spend your time and are you pleased with how you spend your time? Intentional use of time is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself.
Are you emotionally honest with yourself and the people around you? Emotional honesty, telling your whole heart, saying what your true feelings are to you and to your tribe is valuable. There is a freedom in letting others know when you are happy and when you are sad or disappointed or things didn’t go as you planned. We often try to “hide” our emotions, either to meet what we perceive someone else’s expectations to be, or to protect our own selves from our “inner bully”. Try being honest and accepting (with nonjudgement) the way that we truly feel.
Now let’s talk time. When I talk to others about their biggest block to self-care it usually comes down to time.
Time is one of those things that we all have the exact same amount of, right? In theory it is the same for all beings. We get 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 52 weeks in a year. Why is that some people seem to do and get so much more done than others? Why are some of us able to “do what we have to” and still have time to do self-care?
Could the key to using your time effectively come down to intention and direction? If we actually look at how we use our time would the simple act of that give us some of it back? Could it come down to intentional use of time and knowing exactly what we are currently doing with out time? Click HERE for a time tracker worksheet to help you track your time!
Almost 80% of people who have taken the self-care time quiz (Click HERE take it yourself!) report they lose time every single day watching TV, playing games or surfing the internet. We use these things as a way to disconnect and wind down but many times they end up serving us in a less than positive way. Not only does surfing social media lead to FOMO it is a huge time suck and you can end up wasting hours.
Using meditation, exercise, journaling or calling a friend is a much healthier way to de-stress after a long day or week. Our brains are hard wired to connect and mindless activities such as TV and video games not only steal out time we miss out of building community.
Another of my favorite ways to help people re-claim their time is suggesting they try the prioritized, timed to-do list rather than a typical list that only has tasks that need to be
Create a prioritized timed to-do list. Studies show that the time we allow for a task is how long it takes us. Each morning (or the evening before) create a to-do list and on that list indicate how much time you are going to allow for each task and then prioritize the tasks in the order of importance and according to the time they will take. When you consider that then you can fit the tasks in when you will actually have time to do them. Then you not only accomplish more things, you are less frustrated by trying to get a task done when you really do not have enough time for that particular thing.
Put self-care on that list every single day! You matter!
What do you do for self-care? What could you use some help with ? Please comment and let me know.
Love and light,
P.S. Complete the form below to take a self-care quiz to assess your current ideas about self-care and get ideas on how to self-care better!