In this busy modern world, it can be difficult to take time for yourself. Between jobs, overtime, side gigs, social media, children, the news and bills to pay, do you even have time to ask yourself how you’re doing? Here are a few ideas for how you can get started checking in with yourself, and become more in tune with your own wants and needs.
It’s hard, almost impossible, to really be in tune with yourself if you aren’t relaxing. That might mean taking a long weekend, doing a spa night or using hemp oil and scented candles to help you unwind. Relaxation looks a little different for everyone, and it’s important to experiment. The things you tell yourself that you do to relax may actually be causing you more stress, so take a moment to step back and assess whether you actually feel relaxed.
One way to do that is through the deliberate relaxation and mindfulness of meditation. Meditation is a great way to get in touch with yourself and find some inner peace. There are many different ways to meditate, and thousands of online resources to help you achieve mindfulness and clear your head.
However, if you find that meditation simply isn’t doing it for you, you can achieve something similar through hobbies. Many hobbies have a relaxing, repetitive and soothing quality that makes them almost meditative for the people who participate in them. Whether it’s a craft like knitting, pottery or paper crafts, these activities are great ways to express your creativity and let go of some of the stress of your daily life.
Creative writing in general and journaling in specific and is a great way to express your creativity and clear your head. A physical or digital journal can act as the place where you write down whatever thoughts are buzzing around your head. Getting them out of your head and onto paper is a useful and therapeutic way to work through those thoughts. You can think of your journal as an important record of the average person’s daily life that might be useful to future historians, but it’s probably more helpful to think of it as something only for you; a purely private way to reduce your stress and get a little more in tune with your mind.
If what you really need is a way to get more in tune with your body, though, then you might want to consider taking up regular exercise. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress but it’s also an important tool you can use to keep yourself healthy. Whatever your fitness level and interest area, there’s a kind of exercise that you will enjoy. Something as gentle and peaceful as yoga might not be satisfying to everyone, but something as intense as marathon-running isn’t for everyone either. The trick is to find an exercise habit that you enjoy, that you can practice every day until it becomes a kind of ritual for you.
Not all rituals are spiritual. Prayer and meditation are one kind of ritual, but sitting down at the end of the day to knit a few rows while you watch a nature documentary is another kind of ritual, and it can be just as effective at helping you get in tune with yourself. Rituals create natural rhythms in our days and our lives. Those natural rhythms are soothing and help us relax. That relaxation is vitally important for getting in tune with yourself and finding inner peace.
It’s a little sad that in this day and age, we have to learn how to take care of ourselves all over again, but it’s worth taking the time and the effort. Stress comes from having too much to do and not taking time for yourself, and stress is one of the biggest killers in developed nations. Take some time to breathe, relax and check in with yourself. How are you really doing?