Episode #02: Give yourself the gift of time everyday
by Samantha Leith | Nov 9, 2021 |
Hi. I’m Samantha Leith, and this is my show. Welcome to this month, which is all about the daily success formula. Now, it’s not math’s. It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty easy. It’s about you creating the things every day to make your life an extraordinary one, which is what we all want. So come with me as we take a look behind the scenes at a few of the things I do every single day to live my extraordinary life. There’ll be some tips and some tricks that you may want to add to your life straight away.
Reading. Oh my golly, golly, gosh. Reading is not just what you’re meant to do at school and study. Reading shouldn’t be a task. Reading is something you enjoy. My mum used to say that once you learn and like the skill of reading, you’ll never be bored a day in your life. And I truly believe it. I go through phases with reading of nonfiction and fiction, but generally I try and read one nonfiction book every single week on a topic I’m really interested in. Or I might have heard someone on a podcast and gone, oh, I really, really, really want that book. And I read it. But I do still have fiction because I don’t think our lives can just be about learning. So I buy my nonfiction in books, because I like to hold them and mark them. And then I read crappy love books or science fiction or crime books on my Kindle, and that’s how I end my day, with that kind of thing. But learning and reading? Magical for all of us.
Breakfast. Now, this is a debatable topic for many people because some people like intermittent fasting. Some people fast for a couple of days. Some people just grab a coffee. But you know what? I like breakfast. And as someone who’s had a gastric sleeve, I need breakfast. I have these small meals throughout the day and I don’t have the energy I need to get through my morning and do what I need to do if I don’t have breakfast. I try and have healthy ones. I’m going through a bircher phase at the moment. So there’s a fiber there, there’s a fruit there, but again, I make it something enjoyable for me and I sit down if I’m by myself and take the time to actually enjoy it.
And if I’m with my daughter, we sit down and have breakfast together. It’s when I also have a quick flick through social media, see what’s happening in the world, and I’ll take my vitamins. Now here’s a hint. If you’re not very good at taking vitamins, get them delivered in a pack for you. Oh, my golly gosh. Game changer. Makes life so much easier. And when you can, go out for breakfast, because that is even better.
Let’s talk about sacred time. It’s special and it’s yours. With all that we do every day, the hustle … I hate that word. And the bustle. You need to slow yourself down, decrease the adrenaline pumping through your veins, keep the anxiety at bay, and just be. It’s a gift and you give it to yourself every day. Every single day. Let me repeat that loudly for those in the back row. Every single day. For me, it’s my morning M’s, my chillax at night. Now it doesn’t always involve bubbles in my bath and a glass, but it’s always something. Yet it’s nothing. What I mean is, in that time everything I am doing is for me. It’s the ultimate in self care. There, I said it.
Self-care. It’s not just about massages and facials. It’s the stuff that recharges you, your soul. Fuels you so you can be, do, and have all you desire in your life. Thomas Moore, all through care of the soul says, we seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t. It seems there’s always something that needs doing, always someone who needs our attention. Unfortunately, Moore says, we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel like we’re wasting time.
The guilt that we can feel when we give ourselves this time at first can be excruciating. I should be washing or cleaning or working or talking or selling or writing or doing something. Anything to keep me busy and make me feel well useful. Stop. You can’t be jack shit to anybody or anything if you’re running on empty, and unlike your car that has a great warning system for the tank, us mere mortals will burn out, get sick, or crumple without much of a warning in most cases. Yes, there’s a reason they say to use the oxygen mask first on yourself. You can’t help yourself if you yourself are in distress.
Think of your sacred time as a date you’re having with yourself. It should feel special and maybe sometimes you’ll take yourself on an actual date. Don’t forget to buy yourself flowers either and good wine. Some days you won’t be able to have a big chunk of time, so look for the small incidental moments to just be. Maybe a quick walk outside, breathing deeply, focusing on nature and not caring that your phone is sitting inside on your desk.
Sacred time can help you to be more resilient, focused, understanding, grateful, and can be a bit like giving the negative a bit of a rinse cycle in your mind. It’s not about achieving anything in that time. Yes, you can be like me and sometimes mark off sacred time on your daily do sheet. But hopefully, it will eventually be a habit for you.
Sacred time can involve anything from yoga to meditation, music, cooking, dancing, anything that feels good to you. Breathing is my go-to if I’ve got a busy day. In for three, hold for three, out for five. Yes, because taking longer to release the breath slows you down, reduces anxiety and increases the parasympathetic system by activating your vagus nerve. And that, to me, sounds like the ultimate in self care right there.
Getting ready for your day
I love getting frocked up. Like really, seriously, getting frocked up. And working from home so often, especially in these times we’ve had over the last couple of years with the pandemic, that getting frocked up ritual part of my day went a little bit helter skelter. But as soon as I got back into that mode of getting dressed for myself so I could be my most confident self, so I felt good, it all came back. And the important part of this piece is doing it for you. Unless you have something really particular that you’ve got to do that day, get dressed so you feel fabulous. That may be a ball gown with ugg boots. It might be jeans and a t-shirt. But take that time to change from your pajamas or your gym gear, whatever it is you’ve got, to go into that next step of who you are for the day because it will continue those success habits and be part of that formula for you throughout the day. So get your frock on.
Connection is a really, really, really, really, really big part of our lives. And if anything, the last couple of years have taught us how important that connection with people, whether it be friends or family or colleagues … We want to feel that link to other. It fills our heart. It’s the basis of so, so many great things in our lives. So I take time every single day to remain connected to people. I’ll go on social media and I’ll say happy birthday to everybody whose birthday it is, or say congratulations on a new role. Whatever’s been going on in their life. If something sad has happened, I’ll acknowledge that. I’ll also have a little bit of a social scroll and maybe someone’s done something really fun and I can comment on it. I might write a quick card if they is a birthday coming up, or I want to say thank you to somebody for something.
But this time that I take in this part of my day is about keeping those veins of connection, those links to people, really true and really honest. Some of the people in my life have been friends for 35 years, and that’s not by accident. That is by nurturing those relationships. So make that a priority every day. I went through a phase once where I’d just pick a letter in my phone and I’d call someone whose name started with that letter, and every single day on my drive I’d ring someone else. Ask yourself, what can you do today to remain more connected to people in your life?
Thank you so much for watching this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith show. I really, really hope you’d get something out of it. Now for more information, head over to samanthaleith.com/freebies, and there you’ll find any of the downloads that were mentioned in this episode. You can download them, fill them out, and take action on creating your extraordinary life.
What a Feeling
Songwriters: Antonio Lamar Dixon / Colbie Caillat / Kenny Edmonds Babyface / Jason Bradford Reeves
© Reservoir Media Music, Sony/atv Tunes Llc, Universal Music Corp., Sony/atv Songs Llc, Cocomarie Music, Faze 2 Music
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith