How often do you think about something you'd like to do but succumb to your inner monologue of guilt-ridden excuses?
I have way too much to do. My emails are piling up. My son has softball first thing in the morning and I have to do the dump-and-dash to get my daughter to ballet on time. The groceries aren't going to buy themselves. The house is a mess. My boss wants this completed by Wednesday? You're kidding.
How often does a week (or a month!) pass by and you feel like you did not have a minute to yourself? Not even a minute to do anything JUST. FOR. YOU.
You're not alone.
Kids, careers, chores, relationships, medical care, bills, cooking, pets, and all of our other unique responsibilities are a lot. The problem is that not making time for yourself can lead to chronic stress and compromised mental and physical health. While you may be busy, and your to-do lists are probably overwhelming, you must make YOU a priority. Without self-care, you will burn out quickly and then what happens to all those responsibilities?
When you neglect your own needs and mental health, everything in your life suffers.
Meetings, deadlines, chores, and appointments are all crammed onto your calendar. But, more likely than not, there isn't a single mention about time for yourself in there. Everyone needs personal time. Time to unwind. Time to breathe. Time to have fun and experience joy. Time to explore hobbies and interests.
Finding time to focus on self-care may be challenging, especially when job and family life are demanding but this is something we must do, even if it is only 30 minutes here and there.
5 Ways to Make Time for YOU
1) Schedule it
Treat time for yourself as a priority and schedule it. Scheduling time ahead may be an excellent method to guarantee you don't scrimp on that all-important self-care time. You can also see where you can squeeze it in (which can help ensure you take it). In any case, prioritise what's vital and learn to say no or delegate, as discussed further below.
2) Say No More Often
It is quite acceptable to say no. Your time is very valuable, and it should be spent on activities that provide meaning to your life. If what you really need is some alone time, make it happen. Be self-aware of your stress levels. If something will have a negative impact on you, say no.
3) Switch It Off
Take a break from your phone and computer. How many times do you get an afternoon to yourself, only to waste it replying to e-mails or reading Instagram? Social media has its advantages, but it can also entice us to spend an hour looking at useless memes. Limiting distractions is necessary for finding time for yourself.
4) Timely Departure from Work
When you need some 'me time', commit to working until a specific time and then force yourself to stop. Many of us remain late at work or if we are working remotely, pull even longer hours. If this is the case for you, set boundaries for yourself and stick to them.
5) Delegate More
Are there opportunities to delegate tasks to other team members? Giving someone the responsibility of managing a task or project can have wonderful benefits, especially if they are a junior team member. It demonstrates trust and empowers people by allowing them to discover or showcase their talents. A win all around.