I am often asked, "How do you deal with..." and my answer is usually, "I don't." The truth is, I get away from a lot of life's daily stresses by avoiding them completely. I live in a bubble and I love it. This sort of lifestyle keeps me focused on what and who is important in my life. I only do the things that need to be done and in order of importance. I live by my own rules inside this bubble and ignore everything outside of it. This bubble is not about self absorption but it is all about self care. It's about protection.
That's a Stretch:
Most of us are stretching ourselves entirely too thin. Between friends, family, work, and socializing, we are lucky to get a moment to ourselves. Then, when we do get a moment to ourselves, we spend it thinking about all the things that need to be done, should have been done, and all the thing we wish we could have done.
It can all seem like such a burden because, well, it is. The fact of the matter is, however, that we can't be everything to everyone and we can't be in more than one place at a time. We can only do what we can do and most of the time, we are doing way too much. It's a stretch and it needs to stop. This is the first step to the building and insulating of your self care bubble. Just stop for a moment.
What's Most Important:
When creating my bubble, I stopped the world from spinning for a moment. I sat quietly on my sofa with a cup of steaming hot tea and thought about what and who was most important to me. The answer was and still is very simple––a few members my family, my closest friends, my work and of course, myself.
There are short and long term goals I need to reach and there is only one way I'm going to reach them: by being focused. This means it's time to cut out distractions in the form of personal drama, misguided busy work, and ancillary associates. This is true for all of us.
How I Insulated My Bubble:
1. The Cut:
The first thing I did was make myself less available to everyone I know. It sounds harsh but it was a very important component to the building and insulating of my self care bubble. I changed my number, cutting off all ancillary associates, and focused on having only my closest friends, business associates, and choice family members able to contact me, directly. I kept my personal Facebook page, where I update the people I know every once and again, so that we never lose touch completely. But I keep my notifications turned off so I am not disturbed my messages when they arrive. I check the account at my leisure and don't feel pressured to communicate with those who are not a top priority. I have to admit, this makes some people uncomfortable and I noticed a few clamoring to have my attention and new phone number but, to be honest, most people just like knowing they have access to me. It's an ownership issue and it's not my issue. Most of the people desperate to have my contact information, never stay in contact, anyway.
2. The Squad:
So, then, I brought only my "verified" friends and family members into my bubble. These are the people who have been tested and have shown themselves approved. These are the people whose motives I have never questioned, people I've known ten years or more, people I trust. Naturally, this is a short list and that's he entire point of a self care bubble. I minimize the noise of life by cutting out unnecessary chatter from ancillary acquaintances and those family members that only come around when they want to complain about things or ask for something. Naturally, my man and business associates made the cut, as well.
3. The Plan:
After making the necessary cuts and pulling the people closest to me into my bubble, I was ready to engage a new life plan and this is what I came up with: there are things that need to happen in my life and I am determined to have those things happen for me regardless of who's in my life. If my man and I have plans but our relationship doesn't work out, those plans won't go away. If there are things I want to do with my grown son but he's not interested, I'm going to do those things anyway. If there are work goals I have always wanted to reach, I will reach those goals with or without the support of others. I have plans and nothing is going to stop me! What this revelation did for me was revitalize my excitement for life. It's inspiring to know I can do what needs to get done and have the support of people who I know love and support me––no noise. It is also inspiring to know that the plans I make with other people are really plans I am making for myself, regardless.
4. The Care:
Finally, I am careful with myself on a daily basis. I engage in daily rituals that help keep me calm. There's my morning workout, writing in my gratitude journal, sunset walks, and my evening tea and reading. It all helps keep me sane. Then, there are the spa days and hours spent at the nail and hair salon. All of it gives me solace and ease. All of it makes me happy. My self care is important, but it cannot happen in the midst of chaos. It has to happen in a safe place, in a vacuum, a bubble. Once my world is quieter, once I have minimized the distractions and ancillary relationships, and once I have stopped stretching myself thinly, I can take better care of myself. This is the purpose of a self care bubble.
New York Times best selling author, keynote speaker and workshop leader, founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.