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Make Time for Self-Care


Making time in your schedule for you

A lesson from ‘The Art of Stopping Time’ by Pedram Shojai


Today’s lesson is simple.  Make a list of all the things you want to do for yourself.  This should include exercise, personal time, reading, yoga, massage, or whatever else you keep telling yourself you want to do.  Jot down these items.


            Take a look at this list and see if it’s complete.  Make sure it reflects your desires for self-care.  If you did these things, would you feel complete in life?  Would you be rested, calm, fit, and happier?  What else would need to be there in order to feel that way?  Write it down.  Next, sort these items into the order of importance you’d put them in.  The most critical one should go on top and then down from there.


            Now let’s do a quick reality check.  Let’s open your calendar.  Look at your schedule this week (or any average week if you’re doing something vastly different right now).  What’s on your schedule?  How many of the items on your list are actually reflected on your calendar?  Is there a block of time set aside for you to get to the gym?  How about family time?  Have you scheduled time to read?  Where do these things fall on your timeline?


            If you’re like most people, practically none of your self-care items shows up on your calendar.  That says something to the universe and your inner self – namely, that you don’t prioritise these things.  Here’s the rule:  If it’s important enough to you and your life, then it should be on your calendar.


            Look at what happens to your time.  The world will always serve up items, tasks, events, calls, meetings, or drama to fill your time.  Nature hates a vacuum.  Your schedule will get gobbled up by the chaos all around you unless you step in and own it.  You have to hold the line for those things you consider important.


            Today go through your list and knock something off your calendar until there is room for one of your top items.  How can you start to incorporate the items on your list into your calendar so you make the time to take care of yourself?  Where can you slip in a workout, a phone call, some personal time in order to feel whole?  The key is managing your burn rate.  If you put all the self-care off until next weekend or that next vacation, well, you see where that has gotten you.  So how do you live a balanced life each day that helps move your ahead and serve your long-term happiness?  You build it in.


            Go through and build your important items into your calendar today.  It may take some creative positioning or even some delayed starts, since this next week or so may already be jammed.  That’s okay.  Just book it.  Commit in a way that you can’t back out of, whether that’s putting money down, going with a friend, or writing it down in pen.  Once it’s in there, it’ll start to bring sanity to your life.  Don’t overdo it and neglect your work, but strike a balance that you can keep up with.


            The key lesson in this exercise is to think through your needs and build them into your day.  However, none of this will work unless you honour those blocks.  It’s easy to see a workout block and book something over it when you can’t find time.  Push things back on the calendar.  Most things can wait.  Maybe build in some open-time slots for stuff that comes up in order to make room for chaos and spontaneous guest arrivals.  This is a process for you to practice and eventually master.  Honour your appointments with yourself and you’ll reap the rewards.  Hold the line and you’ll start to feel full again.



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Make Time for Self-Care - Courtyard Wells - Natural Therapy Centre