They say it’s the little things that add up over time…
All too often we allow ourselves to take a backseat to our own lives. I’m guilty of it. And I’d wager you’ve allowed the same to happen at certain times in your life. Responsibilities pile up, and as a result, stress does too. Maybe it’s a skipped breakfast in order to get to the office early, a missed workout to help out a friend, hours that could be devoted to catching up on much-needed sleep, sacrificed in order to make a deadline (guilty! Oh, so guilty) — soon enough you’re feeling run down and ragged and at a loss when it comes to thinking of the last thing you did truly for yourself. But before we can care for others in our lives, we must learn how to take time to enrich our own day to day.
It’s imperative that we make time to connect to the passions we have outside of work, family, friends, obligations and ambitions, if we only focus on the outside factors, that’s quickly what we’ll become: A shell that gives-gives-gives and does not understand how to accept. Accept love, accept help, accept that sometimes, you’ve gotta just slow down. Like I said, I’m among the many that too easily lose sight of the shore. I push myself to my limit, and used to have a pretty ugly habit of crashing and burning every few months or so. I’d get sick, break down, allow my anxiety and stress to get the better of me. Which only resulted in tears and dropped responsibilities. Over time, I’ve been working to reincorporate the habits and activities that make me feel, well, like me back into my life. And let me tell you, it takes work. But it’s worth it. Most are very small changes — buying myself an inexpensive bunch of flowers every Friday, committing to making breakfast every morning without compromise, going to bed earlier — some are much larger — prepping salad ingredients on Sunday afternoons, so I can take a packed lunch to work throughout the week; setting a reminder on my phone telling me to go to the gym during my lunch break… and then actually going to the gym on my lunch break. Really, these are small things, but small things have a tendency to add up to something much greater over time: An honest-to-goodness smile on my face, for no other reason than feeling at home within myself and at the helm of my own well-being.
So, tell me: What have you done for yourself lately?
I posed the question to a few of my favorite FP girls from around the Home Office, and the answers were as inspiring as they were unique:
“I’ve started a five-year journal where, every day, you write down a short note or tidbit about your day. It’s fun to look back on what you did or felt that same day over the past five years. It’s a good reminder of how you’re feeling mentally and what you were going through at that time.”
“A huge part of my daily routine is starting my day off practicing Ho’oponopono, which was taught to me by my teacher and spiritual life coach, Kate Satten. Ho’oponopono is the ancient Hawaiian practice of mental cleansing — it’s meant to heal the part that created you, and take full responsibility for you, your life, everything you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Through Ho’oponopono, I put all of my love, light, and energy into the world, focus on all of those around me and repeat the following until I feel cleansed: “I’m sorry, and I love you.” I repeat this until I feel I’ve passed my love and light out to the world and to those I interact with each day. It’s not always easy to wake up and do but it’s a great way to start your day and find a mental and loving connection with those you are surrounded by. Try it and see what happens… you may be surprised by the love you receive back.”
“I have a tendency to be negative towards myself sometimes – I think a lot of women deal with that. Like, I look so fat in this outfit; my hair is so bad today; I’m late again, I’m the worst, oh my god, etc.
Lately, whenever I catch myself doing that, I’ve been trying to imagine myself saying whatever it is to my best friend. Riiiight to her face. Like, “That shirt makes you look awful, you are ugly, why are you even trying?” And I’m horrified. Like, I would never say those things to my best friend! Ever! They’re negative, and untrue, and hurtful.
So…why on earth am I saying things like that to myself?
Basically, I’m trying to be my own best friend, in my brain. Instead of tearing myself down, I’m trying to say things that lift me up.”
“I have never been a fan of working out, but I know being active is super important. Ballet is something I started doing for myself recently, I love the way it makes me feel, body and soul. I take ballet because it’s an exercise for my whole being.”
“I started consistently meditating this past February. Just 10 minutes a day, and sometimes longer if I have time. I used to try and meditate here and there, but the real effects came once I made it a point to practice regularly. I once read that meditation is like friendship; the more you put into it, the better your friendship will be. If you only drop by and say hi once in a while, the relationship loses meaning. That sentiment couldn’t be more true.”
“I’ve found meditation in the morning is really helpful. Just sitting for 15 minutes each morning to still my mind.”
“I’ve been trying to work out for 30 minutes before work, 3-4 days a week — new thing as of February. It gives me such a better attitude at work and I feel a huge increase in my energy levels! Also, doing face masks and teeth whitening twice a week — that’s my new little self-care routine. The older I get, the more I realize that maintenance is necessary, haha!”
+ So, let’s hear it… what have you done for yourself lately?