Reading is a form of self-care for me. Do you know why I say this? First, I love to read. I love to read non-fiction books specifically on growth. I love learning from others and hearing about their journeys. I also love a good fiction book that I can get lost in for hours. So, when my calendar gets busy, I push reading off. And it is something I love to do. So, it is like I am pushing part of my self care to the side like it is not important.
I have started making more time for reading. After all, we only have so much time in the day. It is not like I can make more hours in the day. But, I can allow space in my day to read. It is part of my self care practice for many reasons. I am relaxed and happy when I am reading. I love learning or getting totally caught up in a book. Self care in any form is so important to each of us. It fills us up and allows us to replenish our energy. It is so good for our mind, body, and soul. When I made the realization that I was pushing one of my self care methods to the side because I was getting too "busy", I began to wonder what else in my self care practice was I pushing to the side. Is this part of the reason I was feeling tired? Sluggish? And not myself? Was I not taking care of myself, because my schedule was too "busy"? I put "busy" in quotes because I think this word can be an excuse for not practicing self-care. It becomes something we tell others or ourselves. "I am just to busy, to do self-care." But, are we really to busy? Or are we just putting things on our calendar to fill space?
Do those things on the calendar align with our values? Is it things we want to be doing? After all, we can say no. It's ok. Our worth is not tied up in how busy we are. A lesson, I have learned over and over is self-care is crucial to my mental health and physical health. And reading is part of my self-care. It has become a non-negotiable. This means I will allow space on my calendar and my day to read. No excuses. And this is something new. i like it. It feels good.
My question to you is there something that you enjoy for your self-care practice that you are not allowing space for? How can you change that? Is reading one of your self-care practices? What do you like to read? How can you rearrange your day to allow space to read? Is it being off social media? Is it saying no to another function you just don't want to do? I challenge you to look at your time and your self-care practice and see what you are pushing to the side. You are worthy and deserving of the time and energy for your self-care. I encourage you to fill yourself up first, then you can take care of others.