I feel a little bit hypocritical writing this post, because what I’m writing about is not something that I’m really all that great about putting into practice in my own life. However, it is something that I’m working on improving – and I hope that reading this will motivate you to do the same in your life.
One of the (few) upsides of having a career that doesn’t really align with your passions is that it makes you appreciate even more so the opportunities to do things that you are passionate about. For a long time I had a piece of paper taped to my desk, on which I had written, “Do something creative every day.” And I knew that wasn’t something that was going to happen at work- I had to make it happen on my own time. Now, I have failed miserably at making that happen every day, but it has helped to motivate me to be more intentional about my free time when I actually do have it.
There’s something about taking a little time for yourself and doing something that excites you, that challenges you, that uses the skills and talents you have. For me, it is the highest form of self care. I know some people think of self care as being a bubble bath, or a glass of wine, or a massage – and all of those things are great for self care! I would just encourage you not to limit your definition of self care to activities like those. Instead, expand your definition to include doing things that you love, and I think you will find self care even more rewarding.
Here is a question you can ask yourself to get started: What makes me feel alive? Is it gardening? Playing an instrument? Taking photos of your family? Making pottery? Tackling an ambitious house project? It’s different for everyone. My own answer to that question is not just one, but multiple, typically centered on the act of creating something new: designing clothing or fabric patterns, designing anything, sewing, hand lettering, interior decorating, and blogging, of course!
Time spent doing something that I love is never wasted. I never, ever regret spending an hour or two at my sewing machine, or creating a new fabric pattern- even if it means something else doesn’t get done that evening. Instead, I feel more centered in who I am and who I was created to be. So I would encourage you to do the same – identify what you love to do, and make time for it! Even if your schedule is crazy, you won’t regret it. Actually, you’ll love it.