The biggest obstacle stopping most of us from prioritizing soul care is the illusion that there is a lack of time. When life starts to feel busy and overwhelming, we find ourselves in a panic mode, deprioritizing mind, body and soul care to "catch up on work" or some other responsibility we're conditioned to believe is more productive. As odd as it may seem, sometimes, acts of self-care almost feel radical and against the grain.
But contrary to the norm, deprioritizing yourself and skipping your mind, body, and soul care is hugely counterproductive. When I'm not prioritizing self-care and well-being, I'm not in alignment, which means I am not in my best state of mind. Therefore, my output will not be of quality because I'm simply not in a state of mind to do well. In that regard, being in alignment makes me a more patient mom, compassionate partner, more creative and detailed at work, and a better and more thoughtful friend. Across the gradient, I become higher quality at all things simply by paying attention to how I feel and ensuring I feel good. That said, let's talk about three ways to ensure that we stay in our alignment, prioritizing that we feel our best.
Make soul care a ritual and schedule it in
The best way to ensure you land on your never-ending to-do list is to ritualize that time. My recommendation is to have a set time every day, every week and every month that is carved out for you. This time should be protected, uninterrupted and unplanned. Simply time allocated for you to do whatever your mind, body and spirit is in need of.
By ritualizing your soul care, you will build a natural rhythm and routine that will ultimately rewire your brain into a new healthy habit. And studies have proven that our brains love rhythm and pattern. Regardless if you have good or bad ones, you have rhythms. And if we become more deliberate about those routines, you can find a way to hack them for your highest good. The bottom line is, to schedule it and make it a ritual.
People talk about "setting boundaries" all the time, but what does that mean? "Boundaries are the separations that humans need—mentally, emotionally, and physically—to feel safe, valued, and respected," says Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Sonoma County, Calif. and author of Joy From Fear and Date Smart. And even the best of us struggle to set boundaries, say no when we need to and be fearless in protecting ourselves. But the sooner we can learn, the better. We must put those boundaries with work, our kids, our family and friends, and make it known where the line is drawn for our time, mind and emotions.
Most importantly, when you reserve that space for yourself, you don't need to feel shame or guilt for setting those boundaries. A best practice is to put those boundaries upfront. Another important consideration is that as working people, we’re trained to see the 9-5 hours as time for work, but in today's day and age, we will no longer relegate ourselves to such fixed schedules. We prefer asynchronous work and if my self-care needs to happen in the middle of my day, then those I work with need to accept it and trust me to do my job on my own time.
Find your flow
It's essential to find your flow and understand what brings your feelings of ease and stillness.
I think of this mental state as a meditative state, where we have both strength and ease; it's the mental state when our best work emerges without strain or anxiety. Instead of making our most powerful effort, we experience our own effortless power.
Best said by Sarah Gregg, "Flow is an optimal mental state that you can control, create, and experience every day. Once you learn how to master flow, your happiness will flow quickly and effortlessly as you use strategies to gain control over your life, focus on what matters most, and motivate action toward your goals and dreams."
I encourage everyone to figure out what puts you in that flow state and prioritize self-care.
Until next time, Borne Babes!
ShannaShop our favorite outfit to wear on self-care days: