The month of February is the month of love. Everywhere I go shops and supermarkets are promoting Valentine’s Day offers on flowers, wine and chocolates.
When was the last time you gave yourself something?
Many of my clients have difficulty when it comes to prioritising their own needs. It always seems to be their time that gets squeezed. What I do is to ask my clients to block out some “ME” time in their daily schedule. When they feed back to me they often say that it’s been really hard for them to stick to it. We know that it takes six weeks to create a new habit and this one seems a real challenge to master!
Why do we find it really hard to say NO to others so we can say YES to ourselves?
- We feel guilty because we feel we should be doing something else; we may start cleaning, sorting paperwork or other displacement activities.
- It feels self-indulgent to give to ourselves
- We value other people’s time more than we value our own.
As women we were brought up to please others and to put others first. We have to start by deconstructing some of these earlier patterns, as they are not healthy or sustainable for us in the long run.
When will you start prioritising you and gifting you the time and attention you deserve? I suggest that now is the perfect time to start.
Ask yourself what you would most like to be given as a gift, then go ahead and gift that to yourself. (It doesn’t have to be expensive either, just choose something that would nurture you, nourish your soul and give you joy.) I’d love to hear what you come up with.
Remember you need to keep yourself topped up with love, only then can you fully give to others.
Sometimes our lives can seem like an endless line of things we "have to" do, “must” do and “should" do. It’s like a never-ending conveyor belt. Then there is that "to do" list that never seems to go down, not to mention the things we always mean to get round to doing but never make the time to do. You may even have dreams that have become buried underneath everything, so you have forgotten about them. As women it’s very easy to get caught up in supporting everyone else instead of prioritising ourselves.
So now might be the perfect moment to put some time aside to pause and reflect.
When we are busy “doing” we don’t take the time to " be" with ourselves. Some of my clients make their lives so full that they have no time for themselves. During coaching they come to the realisation that “being busy” is actually an unhelpful habit and a way of avoiding spending too much time on their own. Taking time out can feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable to start with.
When was the last time you took time out to reflect on where you are and what you want to create for the rest of this year?
5 benefits of taking time out
- To connect to the still point inside you and tune into your guidance and inner wisdom
- To become calm, relaxed and centred
- To reflect on the past week and month and acknowledge what you have achieved
- To re-connect to what you really want
- To build your personal resilience. It's much easier to tackle the more challenging aspects of life when we are “topped” up
My top time out tips
- Block out a day a month in your diary just for you and keep it free no matter what!
- Choose a special place to “be.” This might be a lovely room in your home or a beautiful quiet place outside in nature
- Never feel guilty. This is your time and an amazing gift you can give to yourself
Are you feeling drained by the sheer amount of things you have to do every day?
Today as I write, it feels like spring is in the air. This morning, when I woke up to sunshine pouring in through the windows I was reminded that just being here is a gift and that our time is precious. No-one likes wasting time so it comes down to a question of re-prioritising. Sometimes it's good to stop and re-examine how we are spending our time so that we can begin to free up some more time and energy.
If your life was a really precious gift how would you want to spend your time this week?
What would bring you the most joy and pleasure?
Write down some of the things that you love doing every day that will lift your spirits and connect you to your heart. Call this list A.
Now make a list of all the aspects of your life that are not working well; the things that drain you or make you feel flat and call this list B. (You might have a never ending to-do list which never goes down. Just thinking about it could be draining you! )
- How could you reduce the things on list B so you can do more of the things on list A?
- Some of the items on list B will be things that you have to do so is there a way to do them differently so that you can feel lighter and more energised?
- Are there things on list A that you have forgotten about? Schedule in couple of them into your week and notice how you feel afterwards.
- It might be that you need to create a more balanced life by dropping some activities on list B that are not serving you.
- Remember to schedule in some "alone time" to give you the time and space to daydream.
Let me know how you get on by posting a comment below.
When was the last time you felt free ?
When did you take time out just for yourself ?
I spent the Christmas period in Devon, chilling out with family and friends. Spending time with everyone was wonderful but I noticed that I had a yearning for some time out on the coast. Being by the sea always makes me feel great. It's an opportunity to cleanse and refresh my energy. I found some space and set off to spend the day by the sea. As if by magic, in the midst of the many wet, dull, grey days we had been experiencing, the sun came out, and I found myself on the beach watching the beautiful reflection of the sunlight over the sea.
There was a strong wind blowing, which made for high waves and red cheeks. When I started walking I was literally blown along by the gusty winds. As I stopped to watch the waves break on the beach I was caught unawares by a much bigger wave. Suddenly there was water flowing over the top of my boots, which then seeped through to my socks and feet! But I didn’t mind at all… in fact it felt like an invitation to be playful and I had a laugh about it.
I became fascinated by the mass of sea foam left behind on the shore. The bubbles lasted for ages and I was mesmerised for what seemed like hours, just observing and breathing it all in.
Something magical happens when you spend time out in nature exposed to the wildness of all the elements. Somehow you feel connected to life, to the bigger picture, to your wild side.
There is more space for your creativity to flow.
- When did you last set aside a day just for you?
- I invite you to set aside a day just for you
- Commit to it by putting a date in your diary now
And if you can’t physically create a day right now, set aside an hour to go outside and connect with the elements.
In the post Christmas January rush to get things done; do you feel you have to live your life at a 100 miles an hour? ...continue reading "5 ways to slow down & reconnect"