We are all busy. Whether with work, home life, school, building a career, being a parent, or any of the other countless demands on our time and energy. One of the most common phrases I hear from people when I even breathe the words “self-care” is “I just don’t have time.”
I get it. It feels as though we are being pulled in a million different directions, especially around the holidays, and sometimes we feel that if there is one more thing piled on, we will break.
The first thing I would say is that we need to honor that feeling of almost being at our breaking point. Our bodies and minds are sending warning signals to us that they are on overload and we need to heed that warning.
So, what do we do when we feel that there is no time to take care of ourselves and yet we know we need to?
It’s time to pause my friends and reflect.
What am I doing that I could slow down on?
What is really important to me each day?
What can I delegate to someone else?
By asking these questions (and reflecting back on the brain dump from day 2) my hope is that you will find some space on your daily calendar for you. Even if it is only 15 minutes a day.
I remember back in the 90’s when Opera Winfrey was putting out the war cry for women to take time for themselves each day. 30 years later and she is still championing that cause. I love this video about taking 5 minutes for the next 50 years.
The message I really take away from that video is to HONOR MYSELF.
You are the most important person in your life. No don’t roll your eyes and say “pffft no my kids are…or my partner is…” Pause for a moment to consider. If you are not important to yourself how can you be important to others?
If you do not honor yourself and your needs how can you then, in all pureness of heart, honor others?
So today my friends, I challenge you to clear some space on your calendar for YOU.
You can choose to do the self-care tips I am offering all this month or take your own path. Remember all of these are but suggestions. I offer them to you with compassion and hope but no demands.
Okay so let’s talk logistics for a moment.
How does one begin to clear space on your calendar for you?
Well, I already gave you a little bit of a tip above with the brain dump and delegation ideas. On day 15 we will talk about the importance of saying “no.”
But for now, here are a few ideas I’ve had along these lines.
1) Make yourself a priority: I’ve already spoken about how important this is.
2) Schedule self-care: Sometimes our schedules are so tight that we literally have to put self-care on our calendars with tons of reminders. I do this because I want this to be my priority. I have it in my work and personal calendars and I make sure to honor that time. Making it just as important as a meeting I have with an important client or business colleague.
3) Ask for help: It is not weakness to ask for help. Think about how blessed you feel when someone comes to you for advice, a listening ear, or help with a project. Would you deny your friends, family, and work colleagues the same blessings?
4) Learn to say No: As I mentioned, we will be going over this in detail on day 15 but for now, try and become comfortable with the idea of saying no to things you know would add to much pressure and stress in your life. What things would that be? Perhaps it’s staying late at work, or babysitting your nieces or nephews, or making a dinner for someone when you seem to never have time to make dinner for your own people. Look within to begin recognizing where the pressure can be alleviated.
5) Keep it Simple: Self-care and honoring yourself does not have to be a big production. It can be a simple as waking up 5 minutes early, or going outside for deep breaths, or reading a book. Remember this is not meant to add pressure but to ease it.
Remember my friends that you ARE IMPORTANT to the beauty of this world. You make a difference, and you begin that difference by honoring yourself.