It wasn’t until I began to simplify my life and create more time for solo walks, long writing sessions, and other quiet, thoughtful things that I realised I was an introvert. That’s a little bit weird, because my job requires to stand in front of the camera, smile and talk to the world. Nevertheless there is a part of me, which is quite big, that loves loneliness, silence and just staying at home, in an environment that I feel like safe, well known and clean. Taking time for myself is crucial; if I am always busy with other people, I can’t create, I can’t slow down, I can’t be happy.
I adore spending time with people I love but the only way I can really show up for them, engage, and connect is by spending time alone. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, because I am a mother and I feel that Sofia always needs me. Well, I can say that she is a kind of unconditional owner of my heart and soul, but maybe this is not so heathy, not every day, not 365 days a week. When I feel bad or guilty about something, I write it down. I write all my thoughts and feelings on paper so I can really examine what’s going on, instead of letting my mind get carried away. Writing is always a good therapy, and excellent way to materialize your thoughts and see them on the white paper. So you can work on them.
Leave your guilt on paper and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Remember that you aren’t just serving yourself when you set apart time to recharge, but also everyone around you. By taking care of yourself first, you’ll have more energy and attention for the people you love. I love connecting with other humans, but I need them all to go away for a little while every day, too. It is very important to tell people what you need. “I need some time to be alone” doesn’t mean “I don’t want to spend time with you.” It means, “I want to take care of myself so I can enjoy the time we spend together.” Don’t apologize for asking for what you need. Let people know if you need some time to yourself or would rather stay home while they go out.
Life is beautiful when you learn to simplify. Clutter on the outside can feel like clutter on the inside. When you have too much stuff in your home or on your calendar, you might feel overwhelmed, distracted, or anxious. By choosing less on the outside, you may experience more peace on the inside—and get more time to yourself. You can hang out with someone you love and read or do other things alone together. If you have young children, think about activities that will keep them engaged while you take a little time for yourself—even if you are all in the same room.
You have also to learn to say no. A very simple, short word that helps a lot. Author Anne Lamott says, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” Expand when you need to, but still keep it short. In just a few sentences, you can say no with gratitude. “No thank you. I appreciate you thinking of me, but I have another commitment” is better than a long explanation about how busy and sorry you are. Taking time for yourself is something you need, a way to be healthier and happier and, as always, summer is the right season to start. Do it immediately!
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