I was chatting to a (gorgeous) client of mine yesterday and she was talking about work, doing the long hours, running around after other people and having trouble sleeping at night. So I said to her, “Well, when’s the last time you stopped and allowed yourself some relaxation time?”. And the response was a bit of an embarrassed, “Never…..”. When I asked her why, she said it’s because she feels guilty when she’s sitting around not doing anything.
I was experiencing a bit of this lately. Up until last week, the hubby had been working night shift and we were barely seeing each other. Not only that, but our whole routine was broken. When usually he’d be there to buy the groceries or cook dinner while I worked, and vice versa, I was instead racing around crazily trying to do everything. It was pretty stressful to be perfectly honest, and I was quietly praying for a break.
Then the Universe answered my prayers in the form of a message from a friend in the Gold Coast. “Hey I’m going to be in Exmouth tomorrow! Are you coming to see me?”. (Exmouth is five hours south of where I live, which in Western Australia terms is practically just around the corner). And timed perfectly was the hubby’s night shift which had literally just that morning finished up. Ahhhh the beauty of synchronicity!
So off we went on our impromptu weekend away.
But you know what I was feeling? Guilt.
Why is it that we have this sense of guilt when we do something for ourselves? Why does it make us uncomfortable when we choose self-fulfilment over this perceived obligation to be working all the time? Since when does constantly being on-the-go mean more than moments of quiet and reflection?
I think we need both. We need a beautiful balance of motivation, movement and activity, coupled with silence, relaxation and nurturing. Progress and contemplation.
We need to reach for our goals, and then reward ourselves for hitting them! Otherwise, what’s the point? What are we doing it all for??
So keeping these thoughts at the forefront of my mind, I quietly told my guilt that it was not welcome here and I went on to thoroughly enjoy my weekend in Exmouth (and I even tried not to panic about the fact that my phone had no signal the whole time I was there!).
So here’s what I think needs to happen. We need to incorporate more of what we love, more of what lights us up, into our daily routine. More reward! Don’t save it for a special occasion – every day is special. We need to pile the love on ourselves and let the guilt know that it has no place in our hearts.
Here’s a little exercise. Write yourself a list of all the things in this world that you love. Foods, activities, sports, creative outlets, people, pets, anything that springs to your mind. Then next to it, write the last time you did that thing, saw that person, played that sport.
Then make a conscious effort to do more of that stuff.
For me it’s a hot bath with essential oils. Getting lost in a good book (which I do not do enough of, despite the books piled up on my bedside table). Meditating. Talking to my bestie on the phone. Creating (and eating) a yummy raw dessert. Riding my bike. Listening to music (like my current obsession, Sia). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
And you? I’d love to hear your list! What can you do today to reward yourself for everything that you do? Throw a few ideas in the comments below (and you never know, you might give someone else the inspiration they need in the process!).
With (self) love and special days ahead,