Why Do You Keep Putting Yourself Last?
Coming from a very large family, my holidays are always filled with lots of reunions and family gatherings. I like to think of it as a marathon of holiday parties. This year one common theme seemed to string through all my conversations with family and friends, and that was everyone’s stressful schedules and inability to find time to relax and be mindful. No matter their occupation or background, the problem was the same: no time for themselves to find a moment of peace. My friends who are parents explained how busy their kid’s schedules were and how hard it was to find a moment for themselves between work and kid’s engagements. Those in undergrad or graduate school were struggling to balance school, work and a social life. Those in the healthcare field explained how they didn’t have time in-between patients to find a moment of calm. The scenarios went on and on.
These conversations highlighted a problem that I think most of us struggle with today – finding time for ourselves. Many of us may have even planned to go into 2020 with the goal of overcoming this obstacle, maybe you even made it one of your new year’s resolutions:
- Make time for me
- Collect Data: This is a concept that we discuss a lot in our R.E.S.S.E.T Workshops, the importance of collecting data before you commit to a plan. This is important because unless you can understand your current behaviors, how can you create new ones. For instance, looking back on 2019, what was it that got in the way of you making time for you to relax? Take a minute to write out a list. Maybe it was letting your phone or emails interrupt this time. Or maybe it was because your surroundings were too noisy. Or maybe you didn’t give this time enough priority and scheduled other things on top of it. Additionally, think of times when you did make time for yourself, why were you able to accomplish this then? Whatever the reasons, it is important to collect data so you understand what got in your way and what helped you succeed in the past.
- Understand your motivation: When we attach value to the things, it has been shown that we are more likely to follow through. Most of us workout not because we love it, but because it helps us stay healthy or calms anxiety. These are strong motivations. Creating a mindfulness practice should be looked at similarly. Take some time to truly understand your motivations and need for mindful me-time. Practicing mindfulness and moments to RESSET have been proven to increase cognitive function, reduce stress, increase productivity and happiness. What are your motivations for this? Decide and remember these when you have an urge to skip your time to RESSET.
- Create your custom plan: It is important to remember that however you decide to make time for yourself it should be customized for YOU. Everyone responds differently to different mindfulness techniques. This can be a challenge for many people who assume mindfulness has to be meditation, yoga or breathing techniques. While all of these are wonderful techniques, they are not the only ones. We recommend discovering what works for you and helps you relax and be mindful. If you are not sure where to start, we recommend using our R.E.S.S.E.T Cards which provide you with 54 unique cards all with a research backed technique and a designated timeframe to practice it. This can be a great way to test out what works for you.
- Schedule the time: Lastly, once you have determined what techniques work for you and why you are motivated, chose at least one time each day to make time for yourself to practice one of your mindfulness techniques. It could be as short as one to five minutes. But, if you don’t take the time to build it into your schedule chances are you will forget to do it. So, make it a priority right now and block off this time on your calendar.
We hope this helps you make yourself a priority this year and create your own mindfulness practice. If you are looking for additional tips, techniques or life hacks on mindfulness and stress management subscribe to our newsletter below.