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There are a million things you can do to make your life better but I’m going to share 2 self-care tips with you that I think can make a HUGE positive difference in your life and they don’t cost any money and won’t end up taking more of your precious time and energy. Ready?
“If you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.” Lily Tomlin – Actress, Comedian, Writer, Singer, and Producer
When someone asks how you are or how you’ve been, do you often answer with “Busy!”? When you look at your to-do list every day do you shake your head and realize it’s unlikely that you’ll even get 75% of it completed? Have you been trying to find time to spend 30 minutes by yourself each day focusing on your own growth, but been unable to? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this tip is especially for you.
Being busy isn’t necessarily a sign that you are successful, happy, important or anything else. But so often in our culture, we equate busyness with these things.
I’ll prove that busyness isn’t a badge of success, importance or happiness with this one real-life case study.
Sabrina Johnson at 23 years old needed to work 3 jobs to help her mom (who is disabled) support a younger sister and a niece and nephew. Sabrina worked at Chipotle, Logan Airport as a wheelchair assistant, and as an in-home medical assistant. She worked 65-72 hours a week between these three jobs and brought home about $2000/month.
Sabrina was glad she could help her mom pay the bills. But the schedule she kept, with needing to commute between jobs every day and working 7 days a week was killer.
She was exhausted and stressed. She would have been the very first to tell you that being this busy did NOT make her feel successful or happy or important.
That’s just one case, but I think you see my point.
Yes, most of us have to work for what we want. But adding more things to our schedule and keeping busy isn’t always the way to go about finding happiness or success.
So, if there is something that you are doing regularly that isn’t bringing you joy, helping others or making you money that you really need, think about quitting it!
“We’re a nation of exhausted over-stressed adults raising over-scheduled children.” Brene Brown – Licensed Master Social Worker, Research Professor, Author, Public Speaker
It might mean quitting that volleyball league that you aren’t really enjoying any more. It could mean quitting that school committee so you can pass the baton on to someone else. Maybe quitting an hour of mindless Netflix binging or social media scrolling so that you can spend that hour on a hobby or pastime that you really enjoy or that helps you grow in some way will be what you choose.
Many of us were raised on the old adage, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” But it’s impossible to do everything. Sometimes we outgrow things. Sometimes we realize we’re not interested anymore. I hereby give you permission to quit. We all have just 24 hours a day. Be sure that you are using yours mindfully.
Keep a time diary for 3 days. From when you get up in the morning until when you go to bed. Jot down the time and the activity you are doing.
So, it might look like 7:00 AM: Get up and get ready for work. 8:10 Am: Leave for work. 8:45 AM: Arrive at work. 5:00 PM: Leave for Home. 5:35 PM: Arrive at home. AND this is where it gets interesting – What are you doing with your free time?
If you can, keep your time diary over your “weekend” whatever days that might all on, so that you can track your free time and see what you are actually spending your time on. You may be surprised at the things you can quit. And when you do quit you’ll actually have time to do the quality things you never had time for before!
“Every day the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’ And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back and put it on your heart and say, ‘No. This is what’s important.’” Iain Thomas – Author
Most of us don’t remember firsthand, but if you ask your parents, they’ll probably tell you that you had an awesome ability to say “no” when you were about 2 years old.
At age two, little people, including us back then, are just realizing we are not actually literal extensions of our moms. When we are two years old we are just realizing that we are separate people.
So at two, we are testing what happens when we say no. Will mom give in? Will she stick to her guns? At two we have NO idea, so it’s all an awesome experiment (from the 2-year-old’s perspective anyway!).
We are also learning to use our voice to set our own limits and boundaries. This is really important so that we can have healthy relationships.
Somewhere along the line many of us have somehow forgotten how to say no when we need to (or even just want to). At some point, many of us learned that we’re supposed to say yes when people ask for favors or to borrow money or to borrow our car or whatever. It’s not kind/Christian/nice/polite to say no.
And somewhere between our two-year-old selves and our current day selves we got out of practice and forgot that “no” is an option – AND a complete sentence!
“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” Steve Jobs – Business Magnate, Investor, Co-Founder of Apple
So this self-care tip is to officially remind you of the power of the word no. It can help bring your life back into balance.
There are some things we have to do or there will be negative consequences. For example, we may have to actually go to work if we want to get paid. We may have to follow the rules or else we’ll get fired.
But a lot of stuff that we say “yes” to is probably stuff we could say no to as well with very few negative consequences. And the space we open up in our lives by saying “no,” and the stress we lift from our shoulders by saying “no” can make our lives feel much more luxurious and enjoyable as well!
If your go-to answer is usually “yes” consider saying “no” more often to take care of yourself and your needs. Think of one thing you could say no to right now that would make you feel happier and more relaxed. It’s O.K. to say no!
Try it! You might be surprised at the difference it makes.
If you enjoyed these self-care tips please share this post on Facebook or Pinterest. Want more tips like these that will make your life happier, easier, and more fulfilling? Then you’ll definitely want to check out my book:
To learn 3 simple habits you can start today to help make your life calmer and happier check out this post!
If your morning routine needs help, check out: How to Fix Your Morning Routine
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