Busy. It is an excuse we all use, I am one of the guilty. When people ask me how I am I generally reply, “Busy, but good.” While this isn’t totally incorrect I have been using it as a crutch.
I have been continuously taking on new commitments without evaluating my current ones and filling up my time. I say that I want a simpler life and that I want to create more space for self-care and connection. On top of my day job in San Francisco I have yoga classes, my doula practice, volunteering on the board of a non-profit and a monthly book club. My week nights quickly fill up with activities after work.
I dwell on this long laundry list of things rather than owning the fact that I choose to do them all. Each one brings me joy in its own way and rather than focusing on what I am giving up, I need to be grateful for each and every one of these opportunities.
Even with all of my commitments there is still plenty of time I have chosen not to take advantage of. Most night you could find me after dinner on the couch watching netflix or in bed browsing instagram and pinterest. I was recognizing that it is not that I don’t have time to spend time on myself it is that I have not been choosing to spend that time or making it a priority.
I have been really into The Lively Show podcast and Jess Lively advocates the practice of Stephen Covey’s Private Victory, which is an hour spent on body, mind and soul. This can be a wide variety of things but when I first tried it out I would exercise (yoga, walk, circuit training) and then spend 15-20 minutes reading each 2 different non-fiction books (a self development and spiritual book). If making time for myself and self-care was truly important I realized had to prioritize it, I had to carve out the time. What this really meant in my life was that I need to wake up earlier. With all of my commitments after work I get home at different times most nights, and am almost always exhausted (making dinner is enough of a feat). This hour needs to be consistent for me to commit to it and make a long-lasting change.
Since the beginning of September I have made this a priority and shifted my schedule. I started waking up at 6 am to give myself an hour before heading to work. In the last few weeks I have been shifting it to 5:30 or 5:45 to give myself the full hour so I could spend 30 minutes on yoga practice and 30 minutes on an online course. This definitely means I have been going to bed earlier and giving up my screen time. I set my phone to Do Not Disturb from 9:30pm-6:30am and am striving to stop using it other than setting my alarm after 9 pm and until I am done with my work in the morning. My next goal is to buy an alarm clock.
This shift in my life has been amazing! I feel more grounded and accomplished at the beginning of my day. Some days I can still get frazzled or feel overextended but they seem to be less frequent and less emotional. I get a little giddy when i think about how small of a change I needed to make to feel such an impact. What other changes can I make?
What time do you wake up? What is your morning routine? I would love to hear about it!
Making Me Time