Go to sleep, wake up, hop in the shower, head to work and do it all over again. That’s what makes up most of our day and leads to burn out, causing stress health problems. The fact is that life is supposed to be about a lot more than just work - even if you love what you do, whether you’re a stay at home mom or work in an office. It's important for all of us to make sure that we're fitting a healthy dose of “me time” into our lives. The following tips will help you make time for yourself, even with a hectic schedule.
Make Yourself a Priority
When you make yourself a priority, you'll be a better friend to yourself, a better partner, parent and pal You'll enjoy life a lot more and will be a lot more fun to be around. The problem is that most of us seem to feel almost feel guilty about making time for ourselves. Well, there's no reason to ignore your needs and your loved ones should support your setting aside some time for yourself. The important thing to keep in mind is to enjoy the moment and stop yourself from mulling over things that you should be getting done. Whatever you do, don't start thinking about what should be on your grocery list or that all-important upcoming sales presentation.
Schedule Personal Time
Treat the time you set aside for yourself as if it were any other important appointment or project. We're really good at managing our work lives, but fall short when it comes to managing our personal lives. We all need to recharge and revitalize ourselves so we don't feel so burned out all the time.
It's Easier than You Think
Set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour every day for yourself. Sound impossible? Well, it really isn't. You don't even need to spend the time all at once - you can break it down into segments if you have to. Here are a few ideas on how to spend "me time", whether it's 5 minutes or 3 hours.
15 Minutes to a Half an Hour
- Go for a brisk walk through the neighborhood (take along your pooch if you have one).
- Take a relaxing bubble bath and don't forget your book and a pretty glass of sparkling water or wine.
- Read a chapter of a book you've been looking forward to reading, do a crossword puzzle (or 3), read a magazine.
- Doing simple things that you enjoy like taking a few minutes to cut flowers in your garden for a bouquet, pull up a few weeds, etc. Spending even a few minutes outdoors can be very rejuvenating.
If You Have 1 or 2 Hours
- Take a nice nap.
- Go on regular walks with a friend (and commit to it).
- Treat yourself to a spa day (Mani Pedi, facial, massage).
- Schedule an art or exercise class that you've always wanted to take.
If You Only Have 5 to10 Minutes
- Spend a few minutes playing and cuddling with your pet, something you'll both enjoy.
- Keep your ear buds handy and every once in a while, sit, relax and listen to a favorite tune or affirmations.
- Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, sit on the patio, listen to the birds and watch the clouds float by. No smartphone or tablet allowed.
- If your job requires spending hours at a desk, get up and move throughout the day, stretching, walking up and down the stairs, or around the block on breaks or lunch hour.
- Take a few minutes to breath slowly throughout your day. It's alright to let your mind wander a bit, however, keep yourself from worrying about other things, just peacefully exhale and inhale.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you're like most women, you try to do everything and for some reason which isn't usually clear to us, don't ask for help. Well, it's time for a change. If applicable, have family members help with household chores or if it's in the budget, hire a house cleaner to come out once or twice a month. If all else fails, it's also okay to let things go for a bit if it means your peace of mind and overall well being.
There is an incredible amount of pressure and stress put on women as we multi-task, trying to be good wives, parents, mothers, daughters, friends and professionals. Each one of these roles combined often lead to us not taking good care of ourselves. Setting aside "me time" sustains us and provides us with the energy to take care of the many responsibilities we have. Whether it's caring for aging parents, entertaining toddlers, stressfully waiting for our teenagers to come home, or dealing with a high powered corporate job, each and every one of us needs to prioritize nurturing personal time for sanity’s sake. What this means is starting now, let's make time every day to show ourselves some love and respect.