Why is it so hard to slow down – to take ourselves off of the treadmill of our busy lives and just be still?

Why are we not welcoming stillness and peace and serenity? Why are we instead choosing chaos and imbalance and busyness?

I had planned on taking a day off this weekend. I had big plans to relax and unwind – to treat myself to a day on the couch where my only task was to chill out, watch a miniseries, snack all day, play games, read, and take lots of naps.

It didn’t quite go as planned.

And while it was a great weekend filled with tons of wonderful work-related news and great opportunities coming up (that I am SO excited to share with you), it was not what I would call a relaxing weekend.

If this was the first time this had happened, I wouldn’t pay as close of attention to it. Things come up, life happens, and we roll with it.

But this has been my default setting for years. And it has happened enough times to make me stop and take note of it. And wonder what’s really going on here if I take some time and dig a bit deeper.

I love this time each day when I check in with myself, write this blog, and hopefully help each of you in the process.

And yet, this silence and stillness takes up between 30-60 minutes a day. It’s almost like in my mind my scheduled quiet time allows for a free pass for the rest of my day to be chaotic, busy, and overwhelming.

I was recently on a phone call with a friend the other day, and we were talking about taking care of ourselves and making sure we took chunks of time to recharge. She mentioned that she noticed that I treat my customers better than I treat myself, which really struck a nerve within me. I believe wholeheartedly in self care and balance and putting ourselves first on the priority list, and I realized in that moment that I am not doing this for myself.


It’s so easy to say that we need to take care of ourselves. It’s so easy to talk about creating time and space to go within and get to know yourself. It’s so easy to intend to put yourself at the top of the priority list.

But actually doing it can be a challenge. (At least that’s what I’m finding.)

Here are some things that need to be in place for our self care time to go as planned:

1. Feel that you are worthy. Are you really worth taking time out for? Are you worth marking off an hour, a few hours, a day, a whole weekend, or even more to spend alone recharging your battery?

2. Be willing to set boundaries. Our loved ones love us and are used to having us be there for them and support them and love them. And it may be different and a bit uncomfortable to them if we say that we are going to go away for a little while (even if it’s just to another room where we can close the door and be alone). Be sure to acknowledge their feelings, and help them understand how badly you need to do this for yourself. It’s also important to set boundaries with work – especially if you work from home. Customers will always want your attention, projects will always be calling to you to finish them. But the customers and the projects will still be there when you return from your recharging time.

3. Be willing to change. Chances are you’ve been pushing your own needs back for awhile, so putting yourself at the top of your priority list may feel foreign and uncomfortable at first. And while breaking out of your comfort zone and moving into the life that you deserve may feel a bit strange at first, it’s an essential part of self care.

4. Plan ahead (if necessary). To set yourself up for success, make sure you have taken care of everything that will need your attention during your downtime. (This won’t necessarily apply if you are simply taking a few minutes to recharge, but it definitely will if you are taking an entire day.)

5. Keep your word. When you say that you are going to take some time off, really do it. Put it on your calendar and stick to it. Start small, so you will build up your follow-through muscles. Start with taking 15 minutes to yourself (to read a book, lie down, etc.). Tell your family/work that you are doing this and will be unavailable during this time. And then actually take the 15 minutes.

I now feel more equipped to try this again next weekend. And I invite you to try it with me. One thing that I love about this journey is that when things don’t go exactly how we planned them, we can learn from the experience, use it as an opportunity to get to know ourselves better, and then try again.

We’re all worth self love and self care. I know this is true. And so if it doesn’t come easily for us – if we slip back into our default setting of putting ourselves last – we can remember that we are important, we are worthy, and we are loved. And we can go back to the calendar, schedule our time, and try again.

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her husband, Dan Teck. www.jodichapman.com