Sometimes you just don’t feel like going within and centering yourself and slowing down. Sometimes you feel as though you truly don’t have time for it. Your life doesn’t allow for these seemingly frivolous breaks of journaling, meditating, and soulfulness. What does this have to do with the real world anyway, you might ask yourself? How is this going to pay my bills or put food on the table? Rather than taking this time to slow down and nurture my spirit, you could instead use this time to catch up, run errands, and get ahead – right?

It truly would be great if it worked that way. I am the first person to admit that I am not always a huge follower of putting into practice what I write. I oftentimes get into the mindset of linear thinking – how is A going to get me to B? For example, I know that processing a store order will put money into my bank account, which will allow me to pay my bills. Soul work isn’t a linear concept, though, and so my rational mind tends to resist it – especially when I am feeling frazzled. It tends to get pushed back because I feel that the orders and the customers and the things that lead me to making a living and surviving should be at the top of the list.

So I keep pushing. And I keep going. And I keep doing.

And I eventually get to a point where I can’t go anymore. I am too tired. Too burned out. My cup is empty.

And that’s when I come back to myself.
That’s when I realize how important self care truly is. That’s when it hits me that had I been doing this all along, I wouldn’t be feeling so run down and exhausted now. I have the tools to prevent this. I have the tools to take care of myself. It’s just a matter of building it into my schedule and doing it. It’s a matter of knowing that I am worthy of this self love. It’s a matter of creating space throughout my day to check in with how I’m doing. It’s a matter of allowing myself to stop pushing for a little while and just relax – listen to my body – listen to my soul.

I took my first entire day off from all things work related yesterday. I actually did it. I honestly can’t remember the last time I took a full day off simply to rest. I watched an entire mini series. I wore my robe and pjs. I slept. And I had cinnamon rolls for dinner. It was lovely and refreshing and wonderful. Stopping the madness that has become my life for just one day gave me such perspective. I realized that I had created this life of spinning craziness, and I could choose to stop it. I have the power to take action and recreate the life that I want to be living. My life has been in control, and I have been reacting to it rather than proactively making healthy choices and changes.

By clearing space to rest, I allowed room for clarity and insight to enter. And boy, did it ever. I am making some pretty big changes – starting today. I’m sure I’ll be sharing them with each of you as they progress from ideas into concrete actions.

I invite you to join me on this journey. Here is the self-care formula that I am using:

Step 1. Slow down. Take an entire day off – a sabbatical from life. Pamper yourself. Love yourself. And spend your time relaxing.

Step 2. Write down any insights or clarity you receive after you have had time to just be still.

Step 3. Begin to act on those insights. Recreate a balanced life by applying your soul’s wisdom into your physical life.

Step 4. Celebrate you! It feels great to take care of yourself. And it feels super when good things come out of this self care! So be sure to celebrate any successes you have anytime you put yourself first.

I know that this doesn’t come naturally to many of us. We are used to putting ourselves last. But I promise if you start to take baby steps into a life where you matter, your soul will reward you with amazing gifts and insights.

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.