With all the directions we’re being pulled in, it can be tough to carve out time for yourself! Like me, I’m sure you wear many hats — perhaps including things like business owner, household manager, kid wrangler, laundry sergeant, extracurricular activity planner, ….the list goes on.
Let’s face it. Our schedules are busy. Life is busy. And nothing we can do will make it seem any less busy.
Well, that’s not quite true.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve done one thing daily that has helped me feel like I’m treating myself. I’ve opened my sketchbook and spent time drawing.
For me, there is nothing more relaxing than the act of creating something.
Whether it is a photograph, a drawing, a sculpture, …heck, even artisan bread… the process of creation is what leaves me feeling inspired, relaxed, and joyful.
Some days I haven’t been inspired, but once I forced myself to get started, that feeling was replaced by contentment. It’s fun for me.
I have to admit I have a few ulterior motives behind the lofty goal I have unofficially set for myself.
My not-official-goal? Drawing every day — ideally finishing a new drawing each day.
You see, I am a perfectionist by nature, and there’s a tipping point for me when I’m creating. At some point, I usually reach a spot where I’m “afraid” to go on — a gnawing concern that if I do any more, I might “wreck” it. Of course I know better than that little voice inside my head, but still, it is tempting to just stop and call it quits.
And that’s the point where I have been forcing myself to continue on. For better or worse, I’ve been forging ahead and finishing drawings that, several years ago, I would have left in sketch form.
I have to say, it’s really exciting. Liberating. Not perfect, but hey, life isn’t perfect. I don’t need my drawings to be either.
By drawing daily, I’m doing something for myself — I’m helping myself to get past that mental roadblock.
And it’s amazing how once one roadblock comes down, others start to fall too.
You see, that whole thing about not having enough time for yourself?
It’s a myth.
You can have time — you just have to make time.
Whether it’s an hour or five minutes, you owe it to yourself to do something for yourself regularly. Do you love to read? Try to read a chapter every day — or even just a paragraph! Or maybe you like to do something that can’t realistically be done on a daily basis. Make time weekly. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to take better care of others, to better fulfill your obligations.
Maybe you owe it to yourself to set a consistent bedtime, or to go for a walk every morning. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, or anything creative. But find something you can do consistently and regularly. Something that you enjoy.
Here are some ideas to get you brainstorming ways you can take care of yourself:
- Start a thankfulness journal and write 5 things you are thankful
- Draw in a sketchbook
- Work your way through a book by reading a paragraph or chapter
- Go for a walk every morning, or after dinner
- Spend 10 minutes playing wholeheartedly with your kids
- Turn off your phone and just relax/meditate/think for five minutes
- Listen to your favorite music for 10 minutes
- Take a break from sitting at your desk — stand up and stretch!
- Subscribe to a daily podcast and listen to it
- Complete a scrapbook page
- Do a daily crossword puzzle
- Try to finish a brainteaser or sudoku puzzle
- Play cards (solitaire, etc) by yourself
- Take a shower or bubble bath
- Take a break after putting the kids to bed — the dishes can wait a few minutes
- Work on a jigsaw puzzle
- Take a power nap
- Just take a breather… a single deep breath in, followed by a deep exhalation
- Make a cup of coffee or tea for yourself (and sit while you enjoy it)
- Think about all the things in your life you appreciate
See, the things you can do to take care of yourself are so variable. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day, either.
Just make time for yourself.
You deserve it.
If you have any tips about making time for yourself, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What are some ways you make sure to take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, physically, or otherwise? What helps you keep a positive outlook on life?