The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I tend to be very critical of the ways in which I spend my time. Worrying that I am wasting precious moments with too much work or too much rest, too much planning, or too little. I easily fall victim to the mindset that certain actions make me “good” and others make me “bad.” Life is not so black and white.
First and foremost, I believe with my entire self that each of us is inherently good and whole and precious and beautiful. The things we do each day do not determine our worthiness in this world. I do, however, know that it is indeed important to carefully consider how we spend our time. It is not about whether our choices are “good” or “bad.” It is about whether we are truly honoring ourselves at the core.
On a given day, honoring myself may look like staying home and going to bed early. On another day, it may look like getting lots of work done. On a different day, it may look like staying up and laughing until 3 in the morning with friends. I find it so easy to forget that I am not the same every single day. My needs and desires are constantly changing, and the things that are going to fill my cup are constantly changing too.
I am currently on a journey toward being a better listener to myself. Instead of prescribing the ways that I can best spend my time, I want to listen to the voice inside and follow wherever it takes me. Whether it be doing my dishes, spending less time on my phone, taking more walks, or avoiding procrastination, I want to approach these kinds of habitual changes as a prioritization of honoring my inner world, not appeasing my outer understanding of what makes me good or bad.
Self-care practices have been an important but confusing part of my life this last year. Self-care is often framed as needing to be slow and soft and alone, but I have found that this does not always feel right for me. Sometimes caring for myself looks like getting things done, sometimes it looks like getting out of my comfort zone and going to a concert with new friends, sometimes it looks like a meditation class, sometimes it looks like a long hike, sometimes it looks like cooking myself a meal, sometimes it looks like going to bed at 9:30. What I am trying to say is that it looks different for each individual from day to day.
The more we practice looking inside ourselves to understand what honors our true selves, the more comfortable and intuitive we can become with the ways we spend our time. I invite you to practice asking yourself, instead of what would a “good” use of my time be, ask what could I do right now to truly honor myself?