Best ways to protect yourself, your well being and how to stay in tune with yourself
FIRST WAY: Add the words, "I don't" to your vocabulary. A study was performed by Vanessa M. Patrick and Henrik Hagtvedt in the Journal of Consumer Research. This study gave three groups of women goals around how to say NO when they were tempted to stray from their goals. (e.g. skip workouts, hit snooze multiple times). The three groups were:
GROUP 1: allowed to use the "just say no" stategy. (control group)
GROUP 2: allowed to use the "can't" strategy. Such as, I can't miss my workout today.
GROUP 3: allowed to use the "don't" strategy. Such as, I don't miss my workouts.
After 10 days...
GROUP 1: 3 out of 10 women stuck with their goals after "just saying no".
GROUP 2: 1 out of 10 women stuck with their goals after using "I can't".
GROUP 3: 8 out of 10 women stuck with their goals after using "I don't".
Obviously, the "don't" group stayed on track more in terms of protecting their time. "Don't" allows us to feel empowered by making the choice to say I DO NOT choose to do that with my time. It sets boundaries, gives us a sense of self awareness and control over our choices. It also offends less. People can often be taken aback when you simply say "no". We take it personal as human beings and often interpret it all wrong. "Can't" also allows us to feel as though we are victims of our circumstance and takes away the power of choice. Be brave and use DON'T more often.
Ways that I use "don't" in my life:
1.) I don't drink. This one confuses people. They get weird and most get really uncomfortable with the fact that I prefer not to consume alcohol. It's not that I won't...I just prefer not to 99% of the time. My choice. That simple.
2.) I don't do events. For my business I used to do anywhere from 2-6 events a month. By myself. It was exhausting. I would move furniture anywhere from 3-5 times in a day. My husband used to tease me and tell me I could make more money if I opened up a moving company, and I wouldn't even have to work as hard! I don't do events because it came to a point where I wanted to quit my business because of it. So, I eliminated it. Again, a choice I have made for myself and my family.
SECOND WAY: Have confidence in your priorities. Priority is defined as something that is regarded more important than another. Do you know what your priorities are? Look at where you spend your most time and energies. Sometimes we think we have certain priorities but when we actually look closer we see we are spending more time on less important things.
I use myself as an example of how I have my priorities set and scheduled throughout the day. I am far from perfect and find time management harder for me in quarantine days as life gets jumbled into one long, weird day of everyone home at once; but this is most days for me.
My priorities are listed in order of importance for me and how I go about my day:
1.) Self time: This can be meditating, walking, reading, listening to podcasts.
2.) Husband time: Often this has to do with his love language. My husband prefers to hear appreciation, and loves order and cleanliness. I regularly make it a priority tell him thank you for all he does and that I appreciate him. SIDE NOTE: (order and cleanliness are NOT my favorite things but I have learned what he needs from me). We also do coffee dates in the morning and a few date nights. Also note; I am not a shy woman when I feel as though I need more of his attention I ask outright.
3.) Family time: Qaurantine has been an odd time as we spend a lot more time together. I have tried to keep things fun for the kids but I also find myself drained and exhausted from the constant momming. We try to eat at our table at least 3-4 times a week. And we do grateful/sprout; each person says something they're grateful for and something they're working on or excited about that is new.
4.) Work: I can get carried away on work because it has a consistent feedback for me whereas motherhood does not. This one I try to keep as a lower priority than myself and my people. It doesn't always work that way. I love to work. I love the way it makes me feel. Motherhood and wifing on the other hand are hard, with often times very little to no feedback or "reward". Rarely even a thank you, but I know in my soul they must remain the higher priority. It's just something I struggle with as I could easily love to become a workaholic.
These things have helped me stay connected to myself and my people. Keeping priorities and setting boundaries are definitely a healthy way to keep the sanity. I hope this helps at least one person. It's taken a lot of time for me to get things in order. I am constantly learning and adjusting...but I feel happy with some consistent growth. That's progess, no?!
Health & hugs,