No time for self care? Or no time NOT to take care of yourself

  We all lead busy,exciting lives. A full to do list can mean the self care practices that fuel us can be sidelined. Can we afford not to care for our selves?Some days you just feel pulled in all directions, don't you? We manage to fit more and more into our lives. The more you do, the more you can do. But there is a cost. We cannot run on full steam every waking moment of the day. This is easy to forget. Especially when you have prioritised everything that you have to do for everyone else. Everything for which you are accountable. The risk is that you end up doing the urgent tasks in favour of the important tasks on your list, as Stephen Covey would say.

We have so many goals, even if we perhaps haven't articulated them as such. But I bet we all can come up with a list that goes something like this:

To-Do-w-arttallyIt goes on and on, doesn't it? And we haven't even started on any work-related to do list.  At times like this finding time for a self care practice, like doing something creative can seem hard to justify. But I think that we almost have to.  If you don't oil the wheels the machine stops turning. We are those machines. And the self practice rituals that we devise for ourselves are the oil.

These things are important although they do not demand to be heard in the way the urgent tasks do. They are important because they maintain our capacity to function, and because they come from our truest values and desires. Our values and needs - not those of someone else.

If your creative practice soothes your soul and refuels you, can you really afford not to do this? To be fair to ourselves though, we have to make sure that these self care routines are manageable. If you only have ten minutes to spare to be creative, then make it count. Let it be enough.

The fact that you set aside time for yourself is more important than the amount of time you allot.  Make those few minutes precious and sacred. Not negotiable.  Surrender yourself entirely to your practice, whatever it may be.  A few minutes with a colouring book. A cup of tea and a sketchbook. Baking a batch of cookies.  Ten minutes of writing in your journal - with or without a prompt. A short walk with your camera.  Immerse yourself completely in the process, with no expectations for the outcome. Engage all your senses, breathe deeply.

Let every fibre of your being yield to your task.  Let your complete mindful engagement in your task feed your soul. Nurture yourself so that you can replenish your ability to help those who need you.

If you have the creative urge - heed it. A few minutes in each day can add up to a surprising body of work. It is infinitely preferable to leaving that need unmet to grow into resentment. We regret the things we don't do far more than we regret the things we have done.

Let your ten minutes of creation be a reminder that you have the power to create the sort of life experience you desire. Moment by moment. And even if you only have a few moments to spare, it can be enough.