A question I am asked often: How do I find more ME time. I feel _____ (stressed, too busy, selfish) taking time away from my ______ (‘responsibilities’, family, children, work) in order to spend more time in self-care/self-love practices. As someone journeying down a career path in personal development, spiritual expansion and overall wellness this is one of my favorite topics to discuss! We (most of us reading this) live in a lightning-fast nation. Somewhere along the lines, self-care has tumbled down our list of priorities. This begs the question: When did self-sacrifice become an admirable quality?
In my experience, nothing short circuits burnout faster than self-sacrifice.
What we’re looking for is sustainability over a lifetime. Mental, physical, spiritual upkeep. What starts as an innocent brush away from self-care this month, may very well turn into years of not letting yourself be a top priority.
As Bill Gates says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
When it comes to developing a lifelong practice of caring for ourselves, patience is paramount. Catch my drift?
Here we are, 6 weeks into 2018! How are you feeling?
About this time, I like to reassess the vision I created for myself at the start of the New Year. How am I doing with these new practices/goals/intentions I saw for myself? What is working? What needs tweaking? Have you ever gotten stressed because your yoga practice didn’t fit within your schedule and subconsciously, a day that hasn’t even started yet is seemingly ruined? Ya, me too.
Let’s route around that! (Why? Because you deserve it!)
Basically, what we want to ask ourselves is How can I make this as easy as possible now that I know what this attempt feels like?
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Am I feeling drained?
- Do aspects of this change feel forced?
- Is my attitude still positive, energetic and uplifting surrounding this change?
If you found yourself answering ‘No’ to any of these questions, a reassessment would probably be a good idea!
Something that helps me create lasting change is understanding WHY it’s hard to enact. I’m sure many of us have an unhealthy relationship with change. And for good reason! One of our brain's sole functions is to keep us safe and protected. Away from danger or situations that trigger fear within us. Think back to the development of man. We had to protect ourselves from predators, being eaten, hurting ourselves. The brain does a wonderful job of releasing ‘fight or flight’ stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine) to the body that make us feel endangered and elevate our senses in order to flee to safety! In 2018, however, the dangers (on a day to day basis) are less intense, yet we still experience the same hormonal releases when met with discomfort.
This is also why yoga serves as a sanctuary to so many.
The bliss and ecstasy upon arriving in Savasana after a well-taught asana class is next to none. That feeling of lightness, exhaustion, rejuvenation, peace, calm, clarity, the list goes on…hooks us and keeps many coming back for the rest of their lives.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: We could all benefit from being more kind to ourselves. In my experience, the most transformative (lasting!) shifts haven’t come from complex practices, but simply through greater understanding how I want to grow/shift/move, and mostly, plain-old believing I deserve it.
When we live well, we feel well.
That wealth of wellness within is the only that I know of, in which giving from only fills it more. The fun part is that the currency taken here is in the form of self-care and self-love practices. Like all great arts and practices, it is the time we spend here that matters. The plus side of using time as a currency? It’s something that everyone has access to.
On average (from 2, 2016 studies), Americans spend between 10-11 hours online PER DAY.
We can find 15-20 minutes of time for ourselves.
A path I utilize to fill myself up is seeking balance within the elements (earth, air, fire, water).
For example, I usually live between air (social media, engagement, conversation), and water (emotions, spiritual practice, introspective). Often, I benefit greatly from Earth (grounding) and Fire (expansive action) practices.
From month to month, season to season, these may (and will probably) change, so be patient. Often, our body yearns for the elements that it does not get regularly. We want to give ourselves balance to give a sense of wholeness and completion.
Do what sounds good to you, at the time.
Earth - go on a hike, to a park, spend time on the Earth, barefooted, ride a bike, sit outside and breathe
Air - Community events, socialize, share ideas, have a potluck, gather with friends, family game night, open communication
Fire - Physical activity, sacred sex (partner or self!), sports, get blood pumping!
Water - Journal, take a bath, making art, meditate, spend time in stillness, crystal healing, get a massage.
May you find Wealth in Wellness!
About the Author
Britt Lynn is a YogaClub Tribe Leader with an endless passion for creating greater connection with Self, spiritual development and normalizing vulnerability. She is certified SmartFLOW 200 YTT and specializes in teaching pre/postnatal yoga in Las Vegas, NV, where she was born and raised. If you’re diggin’ her vibe, feel free to check out her blog, Yoga. Nourish. Spirit., and other social media platforms!