With everything going on in the world (2020 amiright?), it seems that people have forgotten how to slow down. Though some have different ideas about what it means to create space, doing so can be a great way to take pause and allow yourself to live your best life. I’d argue that creating space might be the single-most-important thing you can do for yourself this year. And I’m going to explain how in a few simple steps.
Identify that You Need Space
Just like the “12-Step Plan”, the first step to recovery is admitting that there’s something wrong. To create space for yourself, first, you have to identify that space is needed at all. Whether it’s work, your home life, or something else, if you notice feelings of burnout or stress rising to unmanageable levels, then it might be time to separate.
For work, this could manifest itself in a myriad of ways.
According to Business Insider, some telltale signs can be a lack of enthusiasm or joy, an increase in mistakes, and even physical pain. In my own life, I can think of several times where the daily stressors of work just crept up on me out of nowhere, finally pushing me to realize that I needed space. For you, it may take being mindful or sitting with your thoughts to have enough clarity to understand that some kind of space is necessary.
Be Intentional (Know What Kind of Space You Need)
Great! Now that you identified that you need space, the real work begins.
Remember earlier how I said people have different ideas of what it means to create space? I wasn’t lying. While I can give you my own opinion/definition, the important thing is that you understand what creating space means for you and how you’ll achieve it.
Are you searching for mental space? How about clarity in your emotions? Perhaps, you feel suffocated by material things and want to remove them. How do you identify what type of space might be needed?
For me, reading books like Essentialism, You Are A Badass, and the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck helped me understand what caused the underlying stress and possible avenues for creating the space to get rid of them (Sidenote: I love cuss words in books, can’t you tell?).
Once you’re able to understand the specific type of space that will alleviate the stress in your life, only then are you ready to act.
You’ve identified the need, you’ve chosen the proper solution, now all you need to do is close — and by close, I mean create your space. Notice that the heading says “Demand Space” rather than “Ask for Space.” It is imperative that you claim what you need, including space, even during a pandemic. If you don’t speak up for your needs, who will?
Using the examples above, this could mean doing a few different things.
For work, it might mean taking a few days off to reset and relax. With your home life, it might mean setting a couple of new boundaries with your roommate, partner, or family member. You also could take a step back to review and implement new processes for positive habits.
Rather than list every single thing you can do, let me point you to some people who have already outlined ways you can slow down. Here are three:
- How to Create Space In Your Life for More Inspiration and Productivity [Age of Awareness]
- 12 Simple Strategies to Create Space in Your Day [Becoming Minimalist]
- 10 Ways to Create More Space in Your Life [Do You Yoga]
The vital part here is that you take the time and assert yourself while claiming your space. For most of us, our lives are built in ways that create a large amount of daily inertia, making any change in our regular routines hard.
While this is great for people who thrive off routine (like me), this also makes it hard to inject new, positive change into our lives. No matter how much you’ve put off taking that time, physical, or mental space for yourself, prioritize it now, your future self will thank you.
After you’ve successfully followed all the steps, there’s nothing left but to sit back and enjoy. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back, you deserve it. 🙏🏿
P.S. Want more tips/advice on how to live your best life? You can listen to my podcast, “So I Was Thinking,” or join my fortnightly “Random Thoughts” newsletter (max 10 mins out of your day). Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful.