Women need to make time for themselves. This is non-negotiable. We need time to breath, to shower, to try on clothes in department stores without worrying that our 2 year old will crawl under the door and run away while we are naked and can’t catch them, to catch up with our mates, and to remember that before we are anything else, we are worth humans, with great value who deserve it. Time for ourselves… whatever that looks like for us is so beneficial….
What does that mean? Well to me it mean whatever it takes to refresh and gives us the space to be the people we want to be – these are the things we need to do. For me these things are:
1. Write my the “Morning Pages” – every morning. Taken from Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way – I start the day taking my vitamins, make a coffee and either curl up on the couch or jump back in bed (I do live in Tasmania – it is SUPER cold here)… from there I write three A4 pages free hand of free-flow thoughts, ideas, rants, complaints or a personal mantra…. anything. No proper writing. No editing. Three pages of brain emptying lines before I start my day. Every day.
2. Take myself on one “Artists Date” to encourage and nurture my inner artists. “The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you, ” Julia Caneron. They don’t need to cody money.
Some weeks I go to an art gallery and explore. Other weeks I spend a few hours painting, or playing with clay and feathers. Sometimes I pick flowers in the bush, play with rocks on the beach or explore a craft store.
Earlier this year I painted inspirational words on flat stones to put in my garden. One time, I took a chairlift over a fast flowing river and looked at the view. In the last few months I have also taken myself on lone dates to see documentaries or movies about art, creating and inspiring lives. A few weeks ago I lit a fire, put on a blind fold, and lay on the floor with an opera streaming through my headphones taking me to an entirely new world for 45 minutes of uninterrupted magical, inspiration soaking up minutes.
3. Gym – I don’t care what kind (except if it jazzercise… I am not going to do that). I like tango, pump class, pilates and (some) cardio…. ideally 4-5 sessions in a week – but definitely just one. Even if I suck at it, and don’t break a sweat. Even if I lift less than everyone else in the class. Even if I throw up and cry half way through pilates (only happened once). Exercise cleans my brain. Even on the days when I resent doing it, feel fat in my clothes, and don’t want to go. It always feels better after you go.
4. Have at least one night in the week when I do not have to be anywhere or go anywhere. No gym. No visitors. No dates. No meetings. I want to finish my work for the day and have no more jobs. Mandela and I may have to watch reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air…. or I may need to eat, sleep and ignore the world. Either way. Don’t interrupt.
5. Do something good. It doesn’t have to be big. Help someone with their homework, donate to charity, make that guy at work who looks tired a coffee. Something. I strongly believe in the power of paying it forward, and I believe that the good we put out into the universe grows. Let’s sprinkle kindness around like glitter. It can only cultivate amazingness for everyone.
6. Write one thing – even if it is a two line poem that sucks and I ultimately throw out. I know of some writers and free lancers that don’t include this ‘must do’ step in their week – but for me it is vital. I think it is part of my need to ‘prove myself’ in the field, or to have a piece of tangible evidence of my creative potential which I can hold in my hand each week.
7. Talk to a friend. Connecting with other people – especially other women reminds me that I am an actual person. The favourite part of my week is sharing a coffee with some women I attend the gym with after our Les Mills Pump Class every Sunday morning.