Intentional Self-Care

Intentional Self-Care >> Life In Limbo

Last night, I had what my friends and I call a “mevening”. This is sort of what it sounds like: an evening you spend alone, at home, with yourself. I usually spend mine puttering around, doing this and that. A few chores, a bit of reading, a healthy dose of self-care.

Lately, though, I’ve felt like my mevenings haven’t been very intentional. I’ve spent them wasting time on my phone, getting sucked down YouTube rabbit holes and watching mindless TV. Those things are okay sometimes, but I don’t like the feeling that before I know it, it’s time for bed. I hate feeling like I didn’t get to any of the activities that would have made me feel really good, like taking a bath or going for a walk or starting a new book. 

I’ve been watching a lot of MuchelleB’s channel over the past few days, and have felt inspired by the way she organizes her life and uses lists to help her stay on top of things in her personal life as well as her business. I particularly like her idea of a “life admin day”, to take care of all the nagging tasks and feel a sense of calm and clarity going into the week. In short: she uses lists unapologetically, even for tiny things, even in her personal life.

I, on the other hand, have always felt weird about the fact that I wanted or needed a “to-do list” for my downtime. It made me feel like I was “doing self-care wrong” by bringing a productivity approach into my off-hours. On the other hand, I felt awful when I let the time get away from me and succumbed to my laziest tendencies – not because it’s bad to be lazy sometimes, but because the things I do when I’m being lazy are not replenishing. They leave me feeling worse, not better.

So this time I decided to make a to-do list for my mevening. It was short & sweet and very simple: make dinner, have a little spa moment for my tired summer feet, and take notes while I read my book. Nothing fancy, and yes, maybe I’d have gotten to these things anyways. But taking a minute to sit down and set some intentions for my evening made a huge difference. Rather than just reacting to my phone or wandering aimlessly through my night, I could approach the time with more mindfulness. By bedtime, I felt rested, not drained.

The moral of the story is: if it works for you, it works for you. I wasted a lot of time feeling like “I shouldn’t need that”, rather than just giving myself what would make me feel better. This phrase also came up in a client session yesterday, so I know I’m not the only one who struggles with giving themselves what they need, without shame or judgment. Do you?

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