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One overlooked part of self-care and well-being is taking time to focus on ourselves and to pursue rituals that make us feel good. Another name for it is “Me Time.” And it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is doing something for the sake of doing it that makes you feel happy. Joyful. Calm. Content.
This can take many forms. Some people like to watch a half-hour of a particular program. Some people incorporate this into exercising and get into a flow state where they feel that their thoughts, behaviors, and actions all lining up in a beautiful symphony. Other people like to take time to read or do a crossword. Other people play music. Or play sports. Noodle on guitar. Other people draw. Other people dive into cooking. The prominent fashion designer Tom Ford is famous for taking baths as a means of anxiety management, sometimes as many as 5 in a day! This highlights a ritual that makes him feel good, gives him a moment to focus on himself, and decompress. Baths may not be your thing, but the point is, to carve out some time for yourself every day if possible, that is simply for you. To engage in an activity that means something to you and to you alone. Its success or failure doesn’t hinge on other people or their perceptions of you. It’s not an activity designed to garner attention or applause. It’s something simply for the sake of doing it because it intrigues you.
It’s why ancient peoples painted on caves in France. They had no idea it would last a year let alone thousands. They did it simply for the sake of doing it. It may sound very simple. It may sound frankly elementary. But, as the pace of daily life picks up and we all feel spread thin by responsibilities and commitments, it is crucial to who we are as a people to practice downtime as a skill. Just like sleep, downtime and stretching yourself cognitively are vital to our daily sense of well-being. There’s a reason we invented board games, puzzles, sports, or anything that engages us. Human beings have a fundamental desire to be creative. It lives in all of us and we owe it to ourselves to let it out.
For an inspiring talk on the importance of joy, here is wonderful and poignant talk that is sure to make you smile:
Author Dr. Jon Doctor, Entrepreneur, Founder of Aveo Wellness