Do you ever notice that you get caught up in the “to do’s” and the “shoulds” and “need to’s” and end up in a constant tailspin as you try to catch up with yourself around all these things?
These can take over our day-to-day routines, to the point that we lose focus on the importance of taking time out. We lose focus on the importance of just allowing ourselves to step back from all of that “got to” thinking. Allowing ourselves to just pause, take a breath and be present in the here and now is essential to help our body and mind recharge and reset, as well as protect us long term from burnout while also enabling us to create space that facilitates our personal growth along the way.
Where would you even start to break that cycle, to end that merry-go-round we can find ourselves on?
What if you tried these 5 strategies to support yourself? Think about the benefits of slowing yourself down and allowing yourself some space and time where you can just be in the moment. No plans, no pressure just the act of being present in your day. Start to create some time for yourself that is free from all those conditioned thinking patterns. Put down that “to-do” and “need to get” thinking. Start to think about how you would rather engage with your day.
Put your tech down:
The first place to start might be to be more present with our time and let go of some of our tech time. By that I mean put your phones, tablets and laptops down. Do not lose precious free time in the endless scrolling cycle that exists on social media platforms in one way, shape or form. Think for a moment about the amount of time you can spend scrolling/on social media/browsing the web. Could you reduce that by a few hours a week even? Create a pocket of free time for yourself that is purely for you and resist the urge to fill that time up with tech scrolling, or shoulds, need-to’s or to-do’s.
Next, take some time to look at how much you plan your days and weeks ahead. Pause and think for a moment. Could you slow things down? Could you in theory do less? What if you created a guide instead of a plan, including in your guide a degree of flexibility? Remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and slow and steady wins the race. Consciously make the effort to be aware of the rate you go at your day or week and slow your pace down, let go of non-essential things, and create some time and space each week that is literally “free”.
Give yourself a free day:
If needs be, as a starting point, think about taking some time off (1 day) on a regular basis to take that pressure of yourself. Every so often give yourself a “free” day. Choose a day every so often where you actively take time for yourself. For that specific day make a determined effort to consciously let go of the “shoulds” and “musts” you put on yourself each day. Instead pause and ask yourself the question “What would I like to do today?” Downtime and spontaneous time is essential to help us recharge and reset, particularly if we are regularly coping with high levels of pressure. Downtime and spontaneous time also give our brains the rest it needs to solve problems, and work through things that we may be stuck on. So, think about when you can give yourself a free day.
Do what you enjoy:
Let go of those to-do’s and regularly give yourself time and space to do those things that light you up, that you enjoy, that help clear your mind and reset your battery. We cannot run on empty – when we have a lot going on, taking time out to rest, reset and recharge is essential to maintain our resilience, and our energy levels to keep going. Finding things that you enjoy or are curious about gives your brain something else to focus on, which in itself gives your mind a break and helps it recharge.
Do this practice regularly:
Here is the crunch bit. Don’t just do this once in a blue moon and think that is enough. Let this become an established part of your self-support routine. Giving yourself that time and space to “just be” creates essential space for your personal growth, your self-care and your rejuvenation. None of us are superhuman. All of us need to allow ourselves free space and time to reset and recharge. These pockets of free time that enable us to just be, are a key aspect of being human that we need to be mindful of and tend to. It gives us the crucial space we need to regularly decompress and gather our thoughts.
So, pause and think for a moment, before you go about the rest of your day – be mindful of your tech scrolling, think about how you can plan less for yourself over the next week, slow your pace down, and consider how you can create some free space and time for yourself. Ask yourself what you would like to do with that free time. Think of some things you would enjoy doing. Then maybe work this free time in to your normal routine on a regular basis. Learning to let go of the “to-do’s” and the “shoulds” and giving yourself some time to “just be” is an important aspect of what will sustain you while also nurturing your ongoing personal growth journey.
So where are you going to start?
If you wish, for advice or support about your next best steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or check my personal growth and transformation Membership Community here. If you would prefer to listen to my podcast you can get the latest episodes here.