I have been doing a lot of travel and have had some unusually long days at work. I only had one weekend at home in May and spent the greater part of last month away from home. There were some excellent visits, and both the work and personal times were generally fun and productive. But there is still a lot of stuff that I couldn’t get done.
When I travel, I take a small shrine with me. This shrine lives on my altar when I’m home, so it becomes a bit of home for me when I travel. The focus on spirituality helps me to stay focused while I travel, but I still can’t get some things done. I can’t sew when I’m traveling, knitting or crochet are limited to the projects that I can pack, and I don’t have access to my PC with all the games and files that I’m used to. There is no way to sort through my fabric, yarn, or fiber to plan for a new project. No way to do the full range of things that help me to refresh myself.
The other day I realized how much not doing those things that refreshed me are weighing on my mind, on my heart.
In today’s rat race of a world, it’s easy to get lost in the constant go-go-go of everyday life, of keeping the job, of surviving. It’s so easy for us to allow things that are important to us, things that help to keep our emotions stable, things that refresh us, to slide. After all, these are things for us, not for other people and not for the community, and many of us have been taught to give and ignore our needs.
Maybe it’s just a woman thing. Perhaps I’m just very aware that I am the breadwinner in the house.
Whatever the reason, the list of ‘should do’ has overwhelmed my life, leaving the must-do-for-me things to the side.
I am home for the next couple of weekends so last night I sat down and planned a list of what I want to do, what I need to do. I am currently using a planning method created by Ruth Soukup* in which you pick a focus for each week, and you define what you really need to do in the moments of uncommitted time that you have. This week, my focus is on self-care, and the creative and spiritual things I need are slotted into the free times – along with some time to relax and enjoy being with my partner.
We all have varying amounts of free time in our lives, but there might be some small things that you can slot into your day to refresh your spirit. Consider what makes you happy, truly happy in your heart and spirit, and consider the smallest way of doing that thing. Maybe you could refuse to check work email on the train and instead write a blog; or take a moment to stand by a window and feel the sun; or make sure to hug your partner, kids, or pets; or pause for a minute or two in your hectic morning to savor a cup of tea or coffee. Grab what time you can. You are important, and your spirit needs to be fed as much as your body.
I challenge you to schedule some time for yourself, some time to focus on what you need. Even the minutes count.
*You can find out more about this planning method here. There are some freebies on the site to get you started if you are interested. I have no affiliation to Ruth beyond being a member of her Doing It Scared community.