Do you ever feel there are never enough hours in the day?
The conundrum with time is that you need to invest time to gain time.
“What?!” – I hear you say!
Let me explain…
I’m convinced the more we have stress in our life, the less we are able to use time wisely. Anxiety takes up a huge amount of headspace: constant worrying about issues, pondering decisions, thinking about how stressed and overwhelmed we feel. This leaves little headspace and energy to do an activity that will help release stress and find calm.
I realised when pondering the ‘time question’ that I’ve integrated a range of self-care acts into my day that all relate to time. Some of these self-care acts help me release tension in the body: nature time, movement time; some calm my nervous system: connection time, bed time; some help me stay aligned with my purpose: inspiration time, morning time; and others relieve anxiety: decision time & nature time.
What acts of self-care – relating to time – could you integrate into your day? I’m a huge believer in the power of micro-changes, so choose one or even two self-care acts with the aim of opening up some me-time in your day and reducing your overall stress levels.
Seven acts of self-care to explore
There can be comfort in routine & ritual. Allow yourself enough time to do a few things to help you start your day well. For me, it’s tea in bed, yoga (sometimes as little as a few rounds of earth salutation), shower, Morning Pages (a 3-page written chat with myself) and then breakfast.
How much time do you waste going over and over a problem without making a decision? When I’m stuck – and I realise I’ve been stuck a few days – I brainstorm the issue, I reach out for help, and then I take a micro-decision that gives me some momentum around the issue and frees up valuable headspace.
Take a few minutes to tap into someone else’s good vibes. I listen to a podcast, read an article, or speak to a friend most days. Looking outward for inspiration is vital especially on days when you are struggling to motivate yourself.
I take time to connect to my inner self every day. I don’t just want to be a body carrying around a head! – I did that for way too many years. Connecting my mind, body & breath gives me a sense of clarity and inner peace. For me it can mean a few extra minutes on my yoga mat or sitting in the garden or at my desk. Stop, breathe, connect.
Getting outside every day is key to your wellbeing. Using your five senses in nature allows you to disconnect your thinking mind. You are not just a thinking being, but a sentient being, and an outdoor environment soothes your nervous system and boosts your wellbeing.
A healthy body needs to be moved every day. Your heart, lungs, muscles, bones, metabolism, hormones, all thrive on some daily movement that would have been natural when you were a hunter gatherer. If you can’t integrate a formal sport or fitness session, aim for the joy of movement, slipped into the cracks of your day. For me that’s some yoga, a cycle, a walk or maybe some gardening, interspersed around my desk time. Anything to not stay static at my desk!
Allowing your body the rest it needs every night is the ultimate act of self-care. If you struggle to go to bed early enough, try to design a bedtime routine that helps you close the day and transition into a quieter, pre-sleep mode: herbal tea, candles, hot shower, reading time, calming music etc.
Acts of self-care can be as creative as you like – the sky’s the limit.
Let me know how you get on, and please share some of your own ‘time-related acts of self-care’.
I’d love to hear from you.