I belong to a routine. Every morning I wake at seven, suffocate my cat with snuggles, pour water into my french press, sweep my hardwood floors, sit on my futon until eight, steam my face with coffee and catch up with myself. I need this time, and need it dearly; it feels hugely important to my upcoming parade of human activity. But often, those thirty minutes are the only time I give to myself in the day. For the other twenty-three and a half hours I am doting over my plants, running to and thinking about and working my two jobs, keeping in touch with my friends, calling my senators, checking in with my boyfriend, writing letters to my sister, and scratching list after list of things to do this day, this week, this month, this year, this lifetime. We are all this busy, and we have to be. But sometimes busy is a bit too much.
This week, I encourage you to spend more time with yourself. Not a wine and Netflix night with your roomie (okay, that too but not only that), but some real sit-down time with yourself. It can be anything from a hot bath to a ten-minute journal entry to hand washing your dishes (am I the only one who finds this oddly therapeutic?). Now that I’ve publicly given myself away as an introvert, here’s a list of all my favorite ways to spend time with myself. Pick one and savor your company, you’ll thank yourself for it.
Make something. You can draw it, paint it, stitch it, or knit it. Just get your hands working on something and see where it takes you. Mindless activities tend to show you a lot about your mind.
Get in the kitchen. My apartment boasts a whopping 4×4′ kitchen. It may be small, but I’ve spent good time with myself squeeezed between those counters. Whether you pick a recipe, bake yourself a cake, or deep clean to your heart’s content; you’ll find the kitchen is a magical place to connect with the most special someone– yourself.
Treat ya body. I often feel that getting into shape is the only thing keeping me from being a fully functional adult. My battles with running, stretching, climbing, and squatting enough exist only in the struggle of getting myself to do it. After I’ve jumped that hurtle I enjoy the time, and the burn, immensely.
Write it down. I strongly believe in the prodigious power of the written word. It can be intimidating to get started, but the more word vomit you get down on paper, the easier it gets. You don’t have to start a blog or share it with your friends. My most honest and introspective writing belongs under lock and key, for myself, my bookshelf, and no one else.
Walk around. At the end of a work day, no one feels like taking a stroll through the neighborhood. But sometimes, that’s exactly what we need. Lace up your old vans, fill a tervis with your favorite wine, and spy on your neighbors new living room lay out. It’s good for you, or at the very least it’s just plain fun.
Written by Mara Strobel-Lanka.