When was the last time you took time out for yourself? I have never made a conscious effort to take time out of my day for myself. There just isn’t any well…time. It’s instinctive to try and use every bit of time you have in a day to lighten your workload or even get ahead. Despite the importance of creating time to unwind and reset, fitting it in between work, errands and life, is easier said than done. However, sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect.
Identify what you spend your time doing. It is pretty easy to fall into the trap of wasting time. I once spent a good hour planning out what I wanted to do for the week knowing I wasn’t going to follow that schedule. Don’t judge, I wanted to feel like I was getting my life together so that I could motivate myself to ACTUALLY get my life together. My point is that there are a lot of unnecessary tasks we do throughout the day. Writing down what you do on a daily basis can help you identify what you spend your time on. Also, you will be able to assess what is important and bad habits you need to let go. You’ll be surprised by how much even just 10 minutes of peace a day can do for you.
Sometimes you have to make time. Reschedule your schedule. We have to admit to ourselves that sometimes we genuinely do not have time for ourselves but we have to give ‘me time’ a time slot. It needs to take priority every once in a while. Do something that switches your mind off and releases you of responsibilities.
Get over the feeling of guilt for taking time for yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself how can you take care of others? Ever heard of the saying ‘burning yourself at both ends of the stick’? If you put everyone else’s wellbeing above your own all the time you will suffer. A house cannot stand unless it has a solid foundation. It is difficult to carry the weight of someone else’s problems when you can barely handle your own. Give yourself time to heal, reset and redirect your focus. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy being present in the moment.
Learn to say no and find the balance. This one is a struggle and a half but it needs to be done. I used to say yes to a lot of things simply because I didn’t want to disappoint people but it takes its toll. If it not bringing you happiness or adding value to your life then what’s the point? It is wasted time, energy and adds unwanted pressure. When you don’t say yes to everything people don’t take what you do for them for granted. It is easy to slip into the habit of expecting people to do things for you just because they always have in the past. Learn to set boundaries with people in your life.
Clarify your must have’s. What you need isn’t always what you want. When you can define what you actually need in terms of values your choices will align with that. This applies to friendships, relationships, faith, your career and general life aspirations. An easy way to do this is to write down 10 values that will lead to your happiness. Now whittle it down to the 5 you can’t live without. The value you place on yourself is the value others will place on you. As long as you are consciously making an effort to work on yourself, you will reap what you have sown in all aspects of your life.
Make yourself a priority. We often overlook ourselves for ventures that seem more important. However, neglecting our emotional, mental and physical needs can have a detrimental impact on how we interact with others and deal with situations. Make time each day to do the things that you love, as mentioned before, set boundaries with people in your life and learn to delegate tasks at home and at work. It is okay to accept help when you need it.
Activities you can do to wind down and reset:
- Go for daily walks
- Chill and read a book
- Plan a ‘me’ day out
- Book a spa day
- Listen to an audiobook/ podcast
- Complete a random act of kindness
- Travel solo
- Find a new hobby
- Take a long bath and listen to music
- Unplug for a day. Switch your phone off and stay away from social media.
- Try out some new recipes
- Keep a journal
- Pray/ meditate
- Try something new or something you have not done in a while