These days, and the past few months, have reintroduced each of us to our most important relationship…the one we have with ourselves. Spending more and more time at home, finding new ways of working, and discovering new explorations for finding fun has brought us all to a more intimate relationship and knowledge of the person we are at our core.
For me, I’ve come into this relationship a bit slowly over the past few years. As an extroverted introvert who spent the first 22+ years of my career in an open office, building my career on being a good public speaker, manager, and someone who’s skilled at fostering relationships, I was rarely alone with my own thoughts. Fast forward to January 2018—transitioning to self-employment, working from home, and having the quietest calendar and space I’d known in years forced me to learn a bit more about the relationship I’d most neglected in recent years…my relationship to self.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned new things about how I work best, how I live best, and what things I enjoy doing—simply because I enjoy the process of doing them. I am a mentally and physically healthier person having done this work to figure ME out, and to learn what makes me the best me I can be.
Below, I’m sharing my best tips on finding your own path that allows you to build the life you love and enjoy your own company in the process.
We all know whether we, by nature, are early birds or night owls. When do you feel the most productive, engaged, and alive? What are the things that you need to do, most days, to tap into your flow, your joy, and your purpose? To connect with others around you?
When do you feel the most productive, engaged, and alive? What are the things that you need to do, most days, to tap into your flow, your joy, and your purpose?
For me, I need dedicated time for free creating (not for work), time with my daughter, time to work without distraction, and daily movement. Through trial and error, I built a calendar that works for this, most days, and now consistently structure my schedule in this way.
As an introvert, I’ve also noticed that I need a quiet start to my morning. This realization has shifted this night owl into an early bird, so I can get my day started with a little quiet time to create.
Ask most adults what they’re into and you’re likely to be met with the usual: work, working out, reading, spending time with family, and maybe travel. Predictable and underwhelming.
Having a hobby—or PLAY as it was known in our childhood—is so good for both physical and mental health. It boosts happiness, increases flow, and builds connection. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your social media habits. Are you following a ton of florists or chefs on Instagram? Always building new playlists to share on Spotify? Start where your interests already fall.
And, if you needed just a bit more convincing to pick up a guitar, grab a camera, or start writing that novel that you’ve been dreaming of: having a hobby is proven to boost your work performance, improve your physical health, and reduce stress. So go, get going! Try your hand at something new. Your mind, your body, your people will thank you.
Writing—for no other purpose than to connect with yourself—is a great way to go a bit deeper into self-discovery. Be it daily morning pages, some prompted writing, or writing for stress relief, journaling is a great way to connect more deeply to your joys, your gratitudes, and your anxieties. It will help you become more familiar and comfortable in your own skin, increasing connection, awareness, and your ability to truly know yourself on a deeper level.
These shifts and pursuits can help to build a better relationship with yourself, bringing you a sense of calm and joy in your days and life. And that’s something we could all use more of in all the days ahead.
Jill Elliott is a creative consultant, strategist, and thinker constantly seeking inspiration and balance. As a writer, artist, and founder of The Color Kind she seeks to inspire others to live creatively every day. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her 8-year-old daughter and Goldendoodle puppy.
BY Jill Elliott - June 18, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.