The Paradox of Self Care: Take Time to Make Time

It doesn’t add up. And it will NEVER add up.

It sounds odd, doesn’t it? If we already don’t have enough time to do the everyday things we are obligated or committed to, not to mention the unexpected situations that appear, then how can we possibly justify taking time for a Yoga class? “I could do ALOT in ___ minutes”, we think. Even the thought of five minutes feels like it derails us! Yes, we could do a lot with that “free” time, but DO we? Usually not and usually not self care! Usually those few quiet moments we find in between kids, or projects or errands end up with us sitting in a semi-catatonic state, checking messages, Facebook, Instagram, online shopping or whatever it is that catches our attention. “Well, it’s only a few minutes so I can’t really do any thing else, right?”

But yes, you can. You can do something else that has long term benefits. Maybe you cannot get to a Yoga class, but there is a chance you know enough Yoga to give yourself ten conscious breaths, and a few sun salutations . 5-15 minutes of self care can make a huge difference in how you come back from that little break. What if you felt more invigorated than if you napped?  Getting the blood flowing,  breathing with awareness  offers a huge reboot to your nervous system. More than coffee. More than Netflix water cooler talk. 

The Only Way Out is In

If you, on the other hand, have a flexible work schedule, you may have noticed how easy it is to squander your time. It’s easy to procrastinate the small things because there is always the next day or the next block of free time.  Only problem is that all the little things can really pile up and then they aren’t so small anymore. But when there is structure, scheduling, and boundaries, more things get done. Believe it or not,  freedom is created through organization.  That means your “me time” too. So either way, the only way out is in.

The Best Time for Self Care

Studies find that the best time for meditation and quiet practices is first thing in the morning. Why? Well , for one it is quiet. The world hasn’t gotten into gear yet. And you haven’t checked your phone, calendar, emails, talked with anyone yet. The trick is to get up before the rest of your household; This is your time.  The brain is in a super receptive mode . Think of it as a clean slate. Get outside if you can. Go for a walk. Feel that morning coolness on your skin, listen to the bird sounds, feel your feet touch the ground. Find a nice patch of grass and take your shoes off. No coffee, no phone, no music. Just a walk in nature with your arms swinging freely. Holding onto NOTHING.

Nothing to Lose(except your stress)

Even just five minutes of dedicated self-care can really can change your life. You will notice you have less anxiety and stress. It’s not that the situations that stress you out go away, its just that you start to respond instead of react. You will feel as if things are bouncing off of you instead of knocking you down. People around you will start to pick up on  your chill vibes and your relationships may shift too. You could be a rock star at work, sharing your great ideas and problem solving like nobody else. Great ideas and insights are always just below the surface wanting to come up for air. Let them bubble up as you sit still and breathe.  Jot them down in a notebook you keep just for this purpose- and don’t edit! Just write! 

 Try it.  Take just five minutes before you do anything else(short trip to the bathroom is okay)you get to create your day, who you choose to be. No one decides that for you. You choose it. You tap into your intuition and inspiration in these moments and it feels amazing!

Commit to one week and see how it goes; The universe is patiently waiting to welcome you back.




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