Sometimes I am lucky enough to stumble upon something that so resonates, I immediately include it in my self-care toolkit. Last week, I listened to a podcast with Mark Duplass who is an actor/director/writer. He talked about the importance of keeping his “soul points” high. I had never heard that term, and perhaps he made it up. But in a nutshell, he meant that there are things you can do deliberately to keep your soul full. In his case, he loved writing and acting for one of his shows, but his soul points were not in balance because he was working 12 hour days. So here he was doing something he LOVED, but exhaustion was winning and he had negative soul points. He found he was at his best when he was home by 5pm, and having dinner and a fun evening with his wife and kids.
A couple of weeks ago, my job allowed me to adjust my work schedule while I was recovering from surgery. Instead of working 12 hours days, I worked 8 hours days. It had been 6 years since I’d experienced working 8-5 instead of 8-9. I had forgotten what it was like to finish at 5 on a Tuesday! And let me tell you, I felt like I was uncovering a secret. My exhaustion was less and I felt my brain making room for creativity. All because I wasn’t working until 9, you ask? Yes. Because for me, having time for myself, means being flush with soul points. Now, while I can’t make that schedule adjustment just yet it’s now on my radar in a way I hadn’t even considered before. I hadn’t realized I’d feel so radically different!
What I need and what you need to feel like you are operating with a full tank of soul points is going to be different. So start paying attention. When you are feeling giddy with soul points, stop for a moment and take some inventory. Why do you feel so wonderfully full? Look for the clues! This will serve you when your tank is requiring a refill. Sometimes we can make even the slightest adjustments in our lives and discover a whole other quality of life.
Take care of YOU.