5 essential types of self-care you need to schedule into your week to avoid burnout
All the while ironically planning content around wellbeing, self care and how to unwind.
I'd burn the midnight oil by writing and tinkering about with website bits until I'd realise the time, slap the laptop closed and crawl into bed - only to lay awake unable to switch off.
It got me thinking about self care and how it HAS to be intentional. Neglecting to plan self care results in a behaviours where you go off the rails and reach for the most convenient form of self soothing which often is not what you need and also robs you of choice. (For me it's definitely food, for you it might be something different - this isn't bad per se but the key word here is CHOICE.)
So if you feel stuck with how to plan and structure your day to day self care, here are some key categories to think about and include in your routine to help you avoid burnout.
1.) I need to feel calmSo this one is pretty self explanatory. I also feel like this is probably one of the most commonly associated with self care whenever the subject comes up.
If you're feeling frazzled it may be that you need to start incorporate calming activities. This is where your classic candle lit bubble bath and face mask pamper sessions come in but it could also be as simple as taking some deep breaths or getting outside for a walk in nature.
2.) I need to feel connection
This one is often the case for me and I daresay is the case for a lot of people right now with the rise of people working from home.
A lot of people are feeling isolated despite spending more time online so scheduling some fun video calls, online gaming sessions or some socially distanced picnics are a must.
If you're spending more and more time with your partner, don't forget that being together doesn't always equate to connecting so be sure to schedule in some fun date nights!
3.) I need to feel stimulated
Y'know when you get so engrossed in a task that it feels hypnotic and you're not thinking about anything else?
I find that scheduling some of these type of activities into your down time can really take your mind out of itself and directly into the task at hand. I learnt about this phenomenon when I read the book 'Ikigai - the japanese secret to a long and happy life' by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles.
In the book they talk about 'flow' the meditative trance you feel when you are engrossed in a task.
I find that anything from knitting to playing video games (may I humbly recommend animal crossing) to baking to doing a deep clean of a little corner of your home will work depending on what you find interesting and satisfying. Matt feels it when he tinkers with cars, I feel it when I play animal crossing - we're all different.
Any task that truly makes you feel 'in the zone' will work a treat.
4.) I need to feel energisedDo you ever just feel like you're head is in a brain fog? When you feel more and more lethargic by the day and pretty much everything you do feels like it takes an insane amount of effort?
I personally feel like this is the hardest one to schedule in because when you already feel lethargic who wants to do any star jumps I mean come on???
Scheduling it in fun activities before you get to that point is ESSENTIAL. If you're into weight lifting, you go for it, otherwise if yoga and light stretching is more your bag then for sure get into it!
Personally I can't wait for swimming pools to start opening for some awesome phone free goofing off in the sun.
5.) I need to feel introspectiveA fair amount of my existential crisis' stem from a lack of direction. Sometimes when you're busy living life, your day to day keeps you so occupied that you end up stuck on autopilot with no real direction or goal to head towards.
It doesn't even have to be a particular goal, if you're not stopping to think about the life that you want to live, I'll bet you there are so many activities that you've always wanted to make time for that tends to get put on the back burner for 'someday'.
I love settling down on a Sunday evening with a nice fragrance burning to do some weekly journaling. I use this time to really write down my goals, provide some clarify and decide what I want more of in my life.
Recently I made a conscious choice to eat more vegan meals but as with any new habit - this kind of lifestyle change takes intention and regular check ins so journaling is the perfect way to make room for activities that i want more of in my life.
So considering for the last few weeks I've pretty much done none of the above I think I'm going to try and schedule in activities from each of these categories and see how I get on - what about you? Do you agree? Are there any other types of self care that I've left out?
Let us know!
Until next time,