It’s no big secret that we live in a chaotic time. I mean, if you’re alive in 2020, you will experience chaos at least once a week. The sad truth, though, is that many of us live in a constant state of chaos. So knowing that, how do we keep up with self-care – even through chaos?
I am a living testament to the necessity of self-care. Many of you know that after going non-stop, planning multiple SpaHive events at the same time, my body literally just said, “I’m done.” It made me slow down. I don’t normally take time off like this, but for weeks after SpaHive Ogunquit, ME – I just couldn’t seem to get it together. I stayed in a lethargic state, unable to find motivation to do much of anything. Anyone who knows me knows that this behavior is far from normal.
After multiple tests from more than one doctor, I finally found the reason behind my “lack of motivation.” I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, likely brought on by self-inflicted stress. What do I mean by self-inflicted? I mean I didn’t stop! I didn’t take time for me because I thought I didn’t have time to. I once heard a story about a father teaching his daughter about priorities. He had a tall, empty jar, some large rocks and some sand. He said to his daughter, “a person who doesn’t have their priorities figured out will fill this jar with sand and then try to fit in the large rocks.” He then demonstrated this action – and sure enough – it didn’t all fit. There was no way to do it without such force that it would break the jar. He then took everything out and separated it again. “But when a persona has their priorities figured out, they know that they plan those big priorities first and then everything else falls in place around them.” He then put in the large rocks and poured the sand on top. The sand flowed in and filled in every nook, every crevice surrounding those larger rocks. This is the case with all things in life.
Now that you know that it’s possible to make time for yourself, here’s a little direction as to what or how to move forward.
Create Events in your Calendar for Meditation or Prayer
I know it sounds silly – but my schedule absolutely runs how and when I operate on a daily and weekly basis. Since self-care has to be a part of my life, I have to place those events on my schedule to ensure I do them on a daily basis. Slot a reasonable amount of time in there every single day. You might feel that stress starts to creep up on you in the early afternoon. If so, schedule your prayer or meditation time in the early afternoon. If you don’t think you can meditate or pray for 30 minutes straight, just schedule 5 or 10 minutes a day. Caution: Once your scheduled time rolls around, do not tell yourself you’ll do it in 5 minutes. Five minutes will become 10 and 10 minutes turns into never. You owe this to yourself!
Create Moments of Bliss
Most of my readers are spa directors or spa owners. As such, part of your job is to critique the skills of your therapists and technicians. Do yourself a favor and schedule a massage or a facial at least once a month and try not to critique. No, not even in your mind. Allow your mind to be filled with absolutely nothing. Doesn’t that sound blissful?
If you’d rather take a time-out outside of a spa environment, I get it! Find something else you love to do. Some people love ballroom dancing. Some people love days (or even an hour) on the beach. Some people find their bliss in caring for animals. I know I certainly do! Whatever it is that brings you to that state of bliss, do that. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get those into your schedule.
What do you envision your perfect life to look like? Write it down. Journaling is a way to transport yourself to your ideal life. Would you be sipping margaritas by the pool? Spending limitless time with your grandkids? Putting yourself in a place where you can be grateful for everything around you literally eases your stress. Plus, some believe that more time you spend thinking about what you want and feeling gratitude for it as if you already have it increases your chances of making your dream a reality! Does it work? Well, that remains to be seen, but I think it’s worth a shot.
E Free Zones
Whether you know it or not, your cell phone stresses you out. Some of us are addicted to our devices, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the vehicles for stress. We read emails from unhappy customers on them. We respond to scathing reviews on them. Our calendars are constantly dinging at us reminding us over what seems like never-ending tasks. I’d like to challenge you for at least 30 minutes a day to walk away from all electronics devices.
What would that look like? I love taking Bronx to dog parks, so why would I not leave the phone at home? Walk out and just allow yourself to daydream by your water fountain. Spend 30 minutes soaking up some Vitamin D. It doesn’t have to be days or weeks without your phone. Just short breaks to ensure you keep the stress to a minimum.
I know I talk frequently about self-care, but it’s because I truly understand first hand how important it is to live a happy and even healthy life. I hope you take the time to implement one of these (or more) suggestions or find your own way to put yourself first. Remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Be Well! xx – Julie