There is no commitment more important than the one you make to yourself, to be the happiest and healthiest person you can be. But unfortunately, for many of us, this simple truth is much easier said than done.
Ever wonder why it is much easier to commit or follow through on almost all other obligations before you will even consider doing something for yourself? Whether its assignments at work, walking the dog, extracurricular activities, or cleaning and folding laundry - there are an endless list of things that we do each and every day that we would never even consider not doing.
Yet, we struggle to make or invest in time for ourselves and the things that make us happy.
We overlook our own wellness because we tend to view tasks or activities in this category as a luxury rather than something that is mandatory. For instance, consider someone who finds joy and relaxation on an early morning hike. If several days go by without hiking, this person may not see or experience a tangible repercussion, other than maybe feeling sluggish or agitated. But these consequences hardly compare to what happens when we miss or skip something mandatory, like packing lunch for the kids or arriving to a meeting on time.
Except the consequence of overlooking the things that give you energy, health or joy is far worse; when you do not feel your best, it is impossible to be, do or give your best to anything or anyone else. Wellness is absolutely mandatory, because the success of everything else in our lives depends on it.
To stop overlooking the importance of the time you take for yourself, you need to start scheduling it in.
Creating a wellness schedule is just like any other schedule: there are tasks or appointments that we designate a period of time for to ensure they are completed, without exception or interruption.
Start by writing down all of the things you would like to include in your week that make you feel well and good. Exercise, healthy eating, meditation, spending time outdoors, hobbies, reading, word puzzles etc. are all great examples of personal activities to make time for.
Next, create a schedule that includes all seven days of the week and blocks of time that range from. On my wellness schedule I include five blocks: early morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternoon and evening. Anything more specific than this felt too rigid or not flexible enough to account for small obstacles such as my energy level or an incoming phone call.
Aim to schedule one wellness activity for each day this week, and plan to do things when it makes the most sense to tackle them. That is, schedule your wellness activity in a way that compliments your preferences and existing routines.
How often you repeat an activity throughout the week is entirely up to you. The most important part of this exercise is committingto the idea of doing something for yourself each day, rather than making sure every day is different. The latter will happen naturally, once you get in the routine of self-care.