Finding time for introspection
Do you remember the last time you sat in your cosiest chair, without radio, television, books or food?
Can you recall the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about yourself?
It’s possible you have no idea when you last thought about something other than your work, your family, your bank account, your home. Motivated individuals tend to go through the motions of caring for themselves, without thought to how they truly feel.
But, introspection is important. It allows for clarity on where you are headed – and why. If you don’t take the time to reassess, you will inevitably wake up one morning and find yourself exactly where you don’t want to be. Do you want to be the top earner in your firm? Or, would you be happier running a bed and breakfast in the country? Is it time to focus on your hobbies rather than your bank account? You probably can’t answer these questions until you spend some time with yourself. But how will you find that time?
Last week, we introduced yoga into your laundry routine. The idea is that you can find time to train your body, without taking away from anything else. Although we strongly support finding the time to sit with yourself, while doing nothing else, sometimes this is simply not possible.
Here are three times you can spend five minutes with yourself – without the feeling of sacrifice.
In the shower
Whether it’s morning or evening, showering is obviously something you’re doing at minimum of once a day. That’s a regular chunk of time that can be used wisely. Instead of mentally preparing for your day, or reviewing that long meeting over and over again, think about yourself.
Doing the dishes
This is a task that needs such a small amount of your concentration. Whether you are rinsing your dishes before tucking them into a machine, or hand washing glassware, take the time to talk to yourself – about yourself.
Installing a program on your computer, or downloading a large file for tomorrow’s presentation? Sure, you can keep working on something else, but if you haven’t managed to find a gap for yourself, this is a great one. And you don’t have to feel guilty. You are still working – you’ve just delegated tasks to your computer.
Making it effective
You need to allow your mind time to wander into new crevices of your imagination. But, you can structure your thoughts to answer questions you have, while allowing yourself to drift. Ask yourself a question at the beginning of the week. It can be anything you want to know about yourself. Prioritise this question, so that your mind heads in that direction over the course of the week. You may find that you are left with other questions you need to answer first. That’s great.
If asking questions doesn’t allow you to relax, plan an imaginary holiday or shop for a new house in your head. Articulate the features or activities you would do there. Once you have the full picture painted in your mind, take the time to analyze it. Does your dream include lying in a hammock? Or perhaps taking up tennis? Not doing those things now? Perhaps the answers will lead you to re-evaluate your current direction – not to mention the new interests that have cropped up since you started along your path.
- Schedule a few minutes every day just for yourself. Perhaps it’s the extra time you’ve sneaked into your day with the tips in this article. Or simply start incorporating half an hour for yourself each day.
- However you get it, look at how you can use that time effectively.
- Reward yourself with cake, or a glass of wine – or both when you realise new things about yourself.
And, please do tell us where and when you do your best thinking.
A quick comment here could change the lives of our readers – possibly even your own!
This post is part of meditation month on the Rethink Retreats blog
Read more great tips here: