Do you stay up late staring at your phone screen? Is your daily "break" sitting in your car, drinking coffee whilst checking Instagram?
You are not alone!
Sometimes in the beautiful routine of life, we have to just… stop. As in stop what we are doing and make space, right? Like, now. Amidst the pressure, deadlines and emojis. Amidst the ups, downs and smiles of our weeks, we must prioritize that brief moment alone, or those extra hugs, those deep breaths, that sip of water. A break from it all is something we must create for ourselves, or it won’t happen. Life soaks into the empty moments and we just keep on keepin’ on. Spaciousness and self care must be cultivated – like a garden. Flowers don’t water themselves!
There is a common, guilty narrative when it comes to self-care. I’m here to say that feeling guilt for taking time for ourselves is totally NUTS , and like a floppy disk, just plain out of date. It’s time to update our thinking!
We feel guilty taking an hour to go get a deep tissue massage, so instead we impulsively eat a bag of chips in our car. After an intense day at work, we feel selfish taking time to unwind, so instead we spend an hour numbing out on Instagram. The point of this all is the need to relax will express itself negatively if we don’t acknowledge its importance.
There are times in life when we feel like we are just in survival mode. Some days just being able brush our hair and eat breakfast feels like a big win. And guess what, it is. Life can be boring and mundane. There are days when we barely get through the day and then times when we do a thousand things and change people’s lives. The way this happens is by first getting personal with who we are NOW and what our soul needs. By self care. We can’t work miracles when we are drained and over-tired.
There is deep research about the power of mindfulness. It has the power to transform our relationship with stress and suffering. The question isn’t what to do. The question is how can we allow ourselves to just take a break? We must make it a priority of putting ourselves first.
The basic truth is, you can’t give function from low batteries and must learn how to re-charge!
When we take time to nourish ourselves, we feel loved and respected by the person closest to us – Ourselves! When we do this, we feel more energized and alive. We feel a sense of self-love, gratitude, and joy that we want to inspire and share with each of friends, family and loved ones.
Here are some ideas on ways to give back to YOU:
1) Be here now: Breathe. Even in the craziest of days, you can stop. Let’s try: Can you stop reading this, close your eyes and exhale? What’s the most playful thing you can do in the next 5 minutes?
2) Go have a spa day: Go all out and book a massage, facial and/or pedicure. Get your hairstyle changed, get a reflexology foot scrub. If money is tight, you can often get access to a steam room and sauna at a local gym or hotel for very little money.
3) Go on a long walk heading nowhere, with no cell phone. Just enjoy the nature around you and all your city has to offer.
4) Get a new book, listen to new music, find an interesting podcast. You can do this for free with the library and this thing called the internet. Take time to curate new positive stimulus and inspiration.
5) Say NO. What obligation can you say no to this week? What can you miss? If going is going to make you feel resentful, can you just stay home and take care of you?