Hectic mornings, kids to school, work, workout, groceries, cook, clean, kids’ activities, spouses’ poker night, pay bills, crazy bedtime, phone calls, laundry, pack lunches, limited time with spouse, finally your bedtime… and REPEAT
You can switch it up a bit to suit your situation. The question remains: where is the “you” time? There just doesn’t seem to be any time left. We often fail to see how time for ourselves can fit into our daily routine. We are worth prioritizing, so we can be the best version of ourselves.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Do you see what others likely see: A vibrant, always-at-her-best supermom, wife extraordinaire, volunteer of the year, top career woman, the woman who can juggle it all? Or do you see a somewhat neglected, tired, unbalanced and lonely woman, in need of praise, time to pursue her passions, and time to just breathe?
We praise our kids for pooping, because we love them. So why do we feel guilty asking for praise or praising ourselves for all of the things we do? Do we feel guilty loving ourselves? We deserve and need the same love, reassurance and nurturing that we provide children, to be the best version of our self. Guilt should never accompany self-love.
What can we do?
We can still be super…moms, wives, volunteers, career women, and an incredible “juggler” who finds time for herself as well, so that we can be at our best emotionally and physically, feel like ourselves again. We simply need to see that taking time for ourselves can fit into our regular routine, and realize that it needs to… We can’t give from an empty well!
When you hear the words “self-care” what comes to mind?
I’m too busy at work this month; the kids are just starting soccer and baseball season…good luck finding a spare minute for me; once I look after everything and everyone else in my life, I’ll take care of me! Do you think it would be selfish to put yourself before others?
Are you familiar with the adage, “Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others,”? If so, why do you feel selfish or guilty putting yourself first?
Our behavior and emotions impact everyone around us, our children included. We might think that those around us: our children, friends, co-workers, and loved ones, are oblivious to how we really feel, if we “act” positive and relaxed. How we feel, and our actions, affect them, even at a young age; they can feel our stress and our need for rest and rejuvenation.
If you need more convincing, think of it this way:
Your heart pumps blood to itself first, then it pumps blood out to the rest of your body. This is how it keeps you alive. It serves itself first, then the other organs. It needs to take care of itself before it can take care of others, or you wouldn’t be alive.
You need to take care of you first. Then, you can take care of others.
You deserve to take care of you. Those you care about, deserve it as well. You will be nourished, rejuvenated, the best version of yourself, and your well will be full and available to the important things and people in your life.
We are half way through another year… Does it feel like it has flown by? Are you wondering where the time has gone?
Time itself, doesn’t slow down.
However, we must allow ourselves to:
reduce the rush
slow down in life
and, get to know ourselves better
or, we can become emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally frazzled.
To most, it feels like our society is fixated on a “go, go, go” mentality; a fast-paced environment that leaves little time for rest and introspection / self-reflection.
What is Self-Reflection?
a practical way to use a few minutes a day to work on yourself – even when busy
asking yourself thought-provoking questions to help develop a deeper level of understanding yourself
allows you to absorb, process and organize the information you take in all the time
emphasizes balance and mindfulness (active, open attention on the present), allowing you to have a clearer picture of your true desires; who you really are
remove inner roadblocks and release emotional tension and stress
promotes positive change, self-awareness
it allows you to become more proactive, than reactive
You often do not have a clue why you are doing a certain thing and why you feel the way you feel. The subconscious mind, which makes up 90% of your brain function, is on autopilot and can trigger certain behaviors in certain situations. These triggered behaviors don’t necessarily lead to the desired outcome.
Self-Reflection helps with that!
Through self-reflection, you can:
change how you see yourself
how you feel about certain situations
how you act
“Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The Benefits of Self-Reflection include:
Keeping you focused on the bigger picture!
It is important to have a clear vision of where you see yourself in the future – write it down if you have to or create a vision board, to continuously remind yourself of what you intend to accomplish!
By keeping an overall goal in mind, your daily tasks become more meaningful and less frustrating
Allowing you to define your own happiness!
Recognize the positive events and activities in your life, and apply these to future endeavors and goals
Ask yourself: When am I most happy? What am I most proud of and why? Who do I most enjoy spending time with?
Preventing you from worrying about things out of your control!
Self-reflection allows you to direct your energy toward self-improvement, rather than trying to improve others, and change things you have no control over
Why worry about traffic jams, or those with odd opinions, when you can be improving yourself?
Noticing negative patterns in your life!
Self-reflection enables you recognize negative patterns; understand how and why they have a damaging effect on your emotions; allow you to consider alternative approaches and alleviate the stressors.
ie: toxic relationship or work environment
Increasing self-awareness for improved results!
With increased self-awareness, you are more likely to trust your gut when making decisions, and you will feel more confident in your choices!
You will have the courage to face fears and challenges, because you are confident in who you are!
You will be more aware of who YOU are, and what YOU truly want in life!
Other benefits include: developing better critical thinking skills, communication skills, social awareness, empathy, tolerance, creativity, emotional awareness, …
What is an immediate, short-term goal that you have right now?
Do you have a goal to spend more time with family, exercise more, start a new hobby (painting, ping pong, golf, paddle boarding, …)?
these goals could be unrealized (not met) because of lack of self-awareness
you need to know how to direct your behavior, in order to know how to pursue your goal
self-reflection helps you make progress on the goals that will improve the quality of your life
Self-Reflection Tools, Activities and Methods:
Self-reflective journaling is not about jotting down your days’ activities, but rather:
your thoughts, your perspective, your feelings, your actions, the feedback from your environment throughout the day
It is about becoming aware of your actions and behaviors, and the results of those actions and behaviors.
You will think about everything that happened throughout your day, and WRITE down (journal): why it happened, how you felt, why did you feel that way, how is that affiliated to your beliefs and values, …
The purpose of self-reflective journaling is:
to get things out of your head and clear your mind, allowing you to relax
allow you gain insights you may otherwise miss
useful problem-solving tool
Three ways to keep your self-reflective journal:
Notebook – the best! (Your hand is connected directly to your brain and handwriting with no blinking lights, popups, distractions … is the best way to go!)
App – on tablet, phone, laptop, etc (notepad or journaling software, even something as simple as Evernote)
Edward de Bono’s, The Six Thinking Hats, is a simple, effective method that helps to increase productivity, focus and mindfulness. The main idea is that by “mentally” wearing and switching “hats”, you can easily focus and redirect thoughts, a meeting or a conversation.
This process allows you to look at situations and yourself from a different perspective. It can also help you when practicing self-reflection by providing new insight. It is also quite fun!
Are you going to wear a blue, white, yellow, black, red or green hat?
Did you know that asking yourself “why” repeatedly, helps you get to the root of a problem by encouraging analytical flow?
think of a situation: (I didn’t get the promotion, I rocked that presentation today, that hatrick I scored was unexpected, I failed the exam,…); OR a certain feeling: (I was distracted all day, I am in a bad mood, I am unusually upbeat today,…)
once you have a situation or feeling in mind, start asking yourself WHY
do it 5 or 10 times
you will gain new insight into yourself
ie: I was distracted all day
Why was I distracted all day?
maybe I was thinking about the kids activities tonight and the upcoming vacation and having to get immunizations and what to do if the dog gets sick again while we are gone
Why was I thinking about the kids activities tonight?
I may need to get someone to carpool Sally so I can pick up Joe…
Why? because there isn’t enough time between the two
(take steps to arrange this… why be distracted all day?)
Why was I thinking about the upcoming vacation?
I should be making packing lists and determing what we will be doing each day
Why? to ensure we have appropriate clothing for weather and in case we need to buy passes in advance
(set aside some time in your schedule to do this… avoid future distraction)
Why was I thinking about immunizations?
these need to be scheduled
(schedule them! avoid worrying about it any longer)
Why was I thinking about if the dog gets sick again?
I need a plan in place, or decide I can’t control this
Why? because it is causing me stress and really is out of my control
(decide to have a back up plan for the dog or let it go)
This chart is a visual representation of 10 key areas of your life. It allows you to self-reflect and determine how fulfilled or satisfied you are currently in each of the areas. You will assess each area on a scale of 1-10. Then highlight certain areas in red and others in green, and ask yourself “why” for all 10 areas of life.
Self-reflection can change the course of your life simply by better understanding who you are, and what you are. It is all about YOU: your whys, your desires and what you want in life.
Self-reflection is about understanding, tolerance of self, increasing your capacity of love for yourself and others, becoming more aware, and noticing things about yourself and your past that may be contributing to current life patterns and emotional states – positive or negative.
Take time to self-reflect. Dare to be the ideal you!
It’s the start of a new year and you are pumped to get or keep going on your new years resolutions…right?!? Or, now that we are a few weeks into the year have you found yourself stumbling out of the gate? Do you need a push or a gentle reminder? Do you find yourself doing “busywork” much more than some of your most passionate work, you know…the things that motivate you? We are all human, but that’s the point. We are human beings, not human doings. Sure, you have things that must get done every day but are you consciously making time for the things you really want to do?
As human beings we have the ability to make a conscious choice to embrace life, and live our best life. But why do we get caught up in all of this busywork hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year? It’s because we chug along in life doing what we feel we need to do, but we don’t take enough moments to clarify what it is that really matters to us. We just keep doing what we’re doing because others have told us that this is what we should do in life. Have you taken the time to figure out yet what YOUR bestlife looks like?
Living your bestlife may include many different areas including:
So how are you going to live your bestlife? Start with this: picture yourself doing what you love to do whether it’s serving others, taking a walk in nature, slowing down at times
to appreciate the little things in life, or taking a course in something that you love. How does it feel? Pretty good hey? So how do you get to this place? TAKE ACTION! Sure, easier said than done. So how do we take action?
Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat.
Research and spend time with who/what you love.
Take a course or read about something that’s interesting to you.
Say no to busywork sometimes.
Strike a healthy balance between work and play.
Make better choices (i.e. stop and ask yourself if this current decision is beneficial for yourself, or serves others).
One more important thing. Put aside all of the things everyone told you about who you are and what you should do. Now take some time to figure out who you really are and what you love to do (your life purpose). Once again I’ll repeat this…then TAKE ACTION! Always remember that this is all on you, and you can do it. Make it happen.