Your Self Care Routine: Going from 'Things to Think' to 'Things to Do'
The idea of just carving out your day for you, for some, can be really hard.
But Tiffany, what about my job?
What about my kids?
What about my... life?
Oh reader, I totally understand. Sometimes the best laid plans aren't as fruitful as you would expect, sometimes it feels like actual work.
But here's the thing. If you're not making time for yourself,
and everyone is asking you for your time,
where exactly are you going to get the energy to do it all?
Well, if you're like me, you'll just keep taking and taking from that "limit-less" treasure trove of energy you have inside and expect that it will always be there...
... till it isn't.
I did this and found myself in a bit of a pickle.
Now, not only did I not have time, but I needed time in order to feel better.
Like going to the doctor after you get sick.
We all do it, but if you're like me, there's always that moment I think to myself, "Could this have been prevented? Could I have done something before to help myself?"
Self care is similar, so I decided to rethink the way I looked at my self care routine.
Instead of looking at self care as a list of "Things to do" rather, I decided to start from a list of "Things to Think."
How to Create your Things to Think before getting to your Things to Do?
The most important thing I learned about creating a self care routine was to ask myself, "What do I want to get out of my self care?"
This is why I broke up my bucket list boxes into Life, Love & Laughter. There are different areas of our live we want to nourish at different times.
What's on my Things to Think list?
...I want to get out of my head and enjoy my surroundings more.
...I want to be more curious.
...I want to take time to savour the wins in my life.
...I want to spend more time doing the things I like to do.
...I want to have a hobby, something that is in no way reflective of my work life.
...I want to be more accepting of myself.
Now when you look at this, it seems pretty basic right, until you REALLY think about it.
Each item can be a forking JOURNEY, and let's be real -- half of those things I don't even want to think about starting..
A hobby? right now? are you serious Tiffany? Now is not the time to learn to knit!
Let's go back to this one.. "...I want to be more curious."
What does that mean for me?
"To be more curious" means to learn people's names around me. Sometimes I'm so stuck in my head or worried what someone will think of me, that I completely forget their name as soon as I hear them.
I may seem like an egomaniac to you right now, dear reader, but it's just that my anxiety is louder than the words coming out of your mouth.
So in order to be more curious, and learn people's names when I meet them. I actually have to train my mind to do that. To train my mind to say to myself in the nicest, most loving way...
"Hey Tiff.. you're about to go into a room where you're going to meet a couple of new people. I know you want to put your best foot forward, but that doesn't mean you have to be the centre of attention, or you have to have the best stories. Sit back, ask someone their name, and really listen to it. Learn something about the person and attach it to their name. Take a moment to yourself, and look at their face, and associate their name to it. When you say goodnight, say their name again."
Now why do I need to do this? I need to prompt myself.
For those of us with social anxiety, walking into a room with a ton of people means your brain your flip into auto pilot to just "survive" the night. For me, that means I go into show pony mode. I entertain, I make jokes, some might say I light up the room (the best compliment I've ever heard someone say about me.)
But that comes at a disadvantage. I walk away not knowing things about the people I was naturally curious about. I didn't let my mind be curious because most of the time my brain had taken a back seat, and just rolled with the punches.
Turning your Things to Think into Things to Do
So now that I have my example, how can I turn my Things to Think into my Things to do? Well, I can promise myself to learn the names of 3 new people when I go into a room. Not 100, not 10, 3. Three people means I have the time to get to know them, and be curious.
Now I can do that for every item on my list. I can create my Things to Do based off the person I want to be.
That's self care. That's listening to your inner voice, and doing things for them. That's carving out the time to do things that will make YOU feel better.
The Self Care Bucket List is my version of that, for those that just aren't ready and don't have the time (right now) to do so. But I urge you all, if you have a notebook, to start thinking through this exercise and create your first Things to Think list.
One step at a time,