It’s lame when you can’t even take proper care of yourself, but it’s more and more common in a society that idolizes the art of being busy. Well despite the frequent sass from my spiritual director reminding me that I’m soooo lucky to have my job given I studied Classics, which is totally useless, I am going to disagree and say CLASSICS FOR THE WIN. I swear this is going somewhere: ars otium (the art of leisure). It’s an art. You need practice ;). So I present a list of ways to TREAT YO’ SELF, preferably, even if in a small way, each and every single day:
#1 First up, pencil it in. If you are notoriously stressed out and never finding time to unwind, you need to pencil it in. I’m super type A and organize far too much of my life, so it dawned on me I was totally failing by not planning to have some time to practice ars otium. Sundays are my day to look at the week ahead and pencil things in, so I make sure I have some time for myself a few nights a week.
#2 That dreaded mile long to do list? It’s your worst enemy. I know some people NEED to have everything written down because they are control freaks (cough cough, that’s me), but don’t let that list be your reference for your daily to-do’s. It blew my mind when my Beau was looking at one of my to-do lists (I have many) and commented: I should have a goal list too.
Let go of that iron clench, will you? You don’t HAVE to do everything on your list, it’s a goal. In fact, I find if I put more than three things on my daily to-do list, I will be overwhelmed and procrastinate. I obviously accomplish much more than three things in a day, but showing up to work and basic hygiene/nutrition are kind of a given 😉 If you keep an agenda, try not to overload your day and don’t set goals that would take more than 20 minutes to accomplish. I know this isn’t your typicial ‘take a bubble bath’ treat yo’ self list item, but seriously, you are taking good care of yourself by managing your expectations.
#3 Ok, how could I not follow that by ‘take a bubble bath’. This is seriously one of my favourite ways to unwind because it’s free (hopefully… don’t get me started on a basic dignity/right to water speech).
#4 Light a candle. Aroma therapy will chill you OUT.
#5 Find a path to walk that has some trees and take your sweet time walking down it. Don’t rush. Looking up at the sky, trying to spot some wildlife, all of these will slow you down and cultivate your expertise in ars otium.
#6 Change your linens. Slipping into fresh sheets at the end of a long day is pure bliss. Start adulting right and change those sheets!
#7 Have a cup of tea. You have issues if you are rushing through a cup of tea. It’s boiling hot. It’s perfect for a bunch of hyperactive nerves like me. You can’t rush tea, it forces your entire body to slow down.
This list could seriously go on for a really long time, but I need to practice my favourite technique of ars otium: SLEEP. I’m off to bed, but I hope this post motivates you to take care of yourself.
If you are not letting Christ love you, and yes, this comes in the form of taking care of yourself, you will burn yourself out trying to be the Messiah. Stop it. If God really wanted you to cross off that other item on your to-do list, He’d give you another hour in the day. Let it go and make room in your life for some leisure.