Self-Care Someday??

You may be familiar with Self-Care Sundays – an amazing concept if you ever actually get to do it!! But what if life is just too hectic and you have too many responsibilities? 

I’ve previously talked about choosing activities that build up your energy reserves proactively. I love the idea of a day that’s all about self-care. And really, it’s about more than just a specific day. 

It’s having the structure that matters. That’s not to say that your self care practices themselves need to be structured! 

What’s important is making sure that your regular investment in yourself, in your emotions, in your energy and resourcefulness ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

This post looks at the vicious cycle that results from insufficient investment in what feeds your soul, and what you can do about it. You know me – I love to give you practical tools to empower yourself, so there’s an exercise at the end to support you.

The dreaded downward spiral

Most of us have experienced struggle building in time because they get so busy and tired that when they finally have some time for themselves, they go into conservation mode. We’ve all been there.

And from there, energy reserves continue to get depleted since hunkering down doesn’t actually replenish our energy. 

That leads to mental, physical and emotional (and I would argue spiritual) fatigue. Which leads to getting sick, burnout, disengagement and either apathy (passive) or cynicism (aggressive). 

These are not fun things. Categorically, they’re not fun. Regardless of your worldview, it’s not logically possible to experience joy while simultaneously feeling apathetic of cynical. 

Fun is important. 

Seriously, it is. And when you expend great energy, having fun is even more important. Research shows there are diminishing returns when we work without taking regular and sufficient periods of true restoration. 

It’s like strength training. We understand from physiological study that your greatest strength gains happen during your periods of rest in between strength training workouts.

Yes, you need to be consistent with the training, and you also need to be just as consistent with the rest.

Otherwise the muscles never get the chance to fully repair, and so you don’t experience the strength gains, and over time you can actually experience injury. Which is the opposite of physical strength.

If consistency of work/energy expenditure is just as important as restoration/energy replenishment, the question is how to make sure you get to replenish with real consistency.

Which brings us back to structure.

It’s useful to know ahead of time what your options are, so that when you finally reach that “you” time, you can make the most of it.

Here’s a short exercise to help you. Grab a pen and paper/your journaling app, and jot down the answers to these questions:

  1. What are 5 things that you GENUINELY enjoy doing and/or would like to learn more about, that you can do in 30 minute increments or less? How frequently would you love to do each of these activities (i.e. once per day, once per week, etc.)?
  2. Similar to the previous question, what are 3 things that you really enjoy doing or would genuinely ENJOY learning more about, that you can do in 1 hour? How frequently would you like to do each of these activities?
  3. And again similar to above, what are 1 or 2 things that you really enjoy doing or would honestly enjoy learning that you can do in 2-3 hour chunks? How frequently would you want to do these?
  4. Last and most important, for EACH one of these activities (just go one activity at a time and jot down your answers in between), close your eyes.
    • Take a few moments to imagine yourself doing these activities as frequently as you’d like.
    • Make sure you notice all the details so you can answer this question!
    • Now for each activity, what does life look like for you, as you do those activities with this regularity?

Really take the time to jot down your answers. 

What’s next?

Now that you know what you need to do in order to replenish yourself, the next step is to actually do these things.

Like building any kind of structure, the groundwork takes awhile.

And you may need to better communicate with yourself and others what your needs are.

I encourage you to be patient with yourself. And to remember that to get what you need, you may need to have some initially tough AND compassionate conversations with yourself about making those things happen.

Acorn + Burdock

Because you can, and you and your heart are 100% worth it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top