When we get caught up in our daily lives and all the things we need to do next, we can easily find ourselves slipping to the end of our to-do list. This can occur sometimes without us even realizing that it has happened.
So how do we keep ourselves in the frame? What can we do to support ourselves day-to-day, and so avoid getting to that place of overwhelm and potential burnout? What steps would help to keep us in the frame and in a balanced state of wellbeing so that we can thrive within and without?
Put yourself on your to-do list daily
First and most importantly, always make sure that you are on your daily to-do list in some way, shape or form. Being mindful and present with your needs daily and making some time and space for yourself each day is essential.
It can be something as simple as just reflecting on how you are feeling each day, and doing something to support yourself around those feelings, be it talking to a friend, journaling, meditation or processing your feelings and letting them go. Just some small amount of self-checking time as a starting point will help to keep you present in your own to-do list.
Focus on the things you can control
Secondly, remind yourself to only focus on those things that you have direct control of. There are many things on a bigger scale that we cannot control, including other people’s actions and behaviours, more global issues such as the pandemic we are currently coping with, organizational behaviours, what we see on social media, and what we hear on the news.
So, take a step back from all these things. Ask yourself the question: what do I have direct control of? What can I focus my attention on? It could be creating a daily routine that supports you, choosing when to exercise, choosing what to eat and when, choosing who you reach out to for support, simply choosing how to spend your time.
Make sure that the activity supports and nurtures you, as opposed to draining or wearing you out.
Focus on what supports you
This brings me to the next technique – make sure that the things you choose to do for yourself are things that you enjoy and get something out of.
Be mindful of doing things just because someone else says you should. Make sure your choice is self-motivated. Take a moment and consider what things help you unwind, what things help ground you and get you back to an even keel. What are the things that nurture you, particularly if you recognize you have had a stressful time?
Allow yourself to decompress, unwind, recharge and reset on your terms.
Now build a regular routine
It does feel sometimes that we are still a little hesitant to put ourselves at the top of our priorities list. This is thankfully, gradually beginning to shift. We are beginning to realize that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we will end up running on empty, and potentially feeling washed out.
Building a self-supporting routine for yourself helps create a wellbeing buffer for you. It helps you to sustain your energy and decompress on a regular basis. So, pause for a moment and consider what would feel like a good routine for you given your schedule and current commitments.
Finally, mix things up a bit
My gentle suggestion to you is this: while you think about what you would like your routine to look like, allow yourself to mix things up a bit.
Have a bit of fun with your routine. This is your treat to yourself, so allow yourself to get creative, have fun with it and mix things up a bit. As the old saying goes, variety is the spice of life.
Think of how you could create a fun routine that you look forward to giving yourself. That builds wellbeing naturally and effortlessly.
So to recap be mindful of what you need on a regular basis, make sure you don’t slip off your to-do or priorities list, remind yourself to only focus on those things you can directly control, also remember to focus on those things that support you and begin to weave these into a regular routine for yourself. And importantly have fun with it, be creative, mix things up, and do things that you enjoy. Your level of wellbeing will have a ripple effect on the people around you.
So, when and where are you going to start?
If you feel it would help to have a conversation about your next steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to arrange a time to talk.