It happens to the best of us, life gets busy and as our schedules and “to do” lists get longer and busier, the time we take for ourselves tends to disappear. We feel like if we take time for ourselves we are neglecting our family, acting selfishly, or neglecting our responsibilities. This could not be further from the truth. Life is noisy. Life is busy. Life takes up so much of our energy. It’s understandable that every individual has different work situations that are unique to their field, but it important to remember that you don’t live to work. Sometimes, putting aside time for yourself may even prove to be the ideal catalyst to liberating yourself from all the struggles that are suffocating you.
Let’s take a look at what happens when we don’t take time for ourselves and some suggestions on how to avoid or change this situation:
- Mental and Physical Exhaustion: people may experience mental fatigue, insomnia, confusion, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, and increased irritability when they do not take time to take care of themselves. Just like we need sleep, we need time out.
- Resentments and anger build up:
The lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up resentments that can harm both you and your relationships. When you spend all your time filling other people’s cups, it’s likely yours will run empty. Sometimes, especially when we’re tired, we may become angry about giving so much.
- Poor self-esteem develops:
Self-care and self-love are very much connected. If we truly love and care about ourselves, we would make the time to care for both our physical health and mental health. Sometimes a reluctance to make time for self-care can go deeper, to issues of self-worth and self-love.
Here is a quick list of ways to improve your “me time” and take better care of yourself on a daily basis:
- Schedule it! – Make a meeting with yourself daily or weekly depending on the content of the meeting. Do you need a daily reprieve, or do you want to schedule an hour or two for a mani/pedi, exercise, or just to sit by the pool and read?
- Make it count! – Don’t just “schedule” ten minutes a day or quiet time, make it quality time. Just as you would give your newborn child your undivided attention, you deserve your attention too!
- Delegate tasks! – don’t let life get in the way. Don’t get bogged down with a long list of “to do’s”
- Check your e-mail and social media feeds at delegated times – Are you attached at the hip to your smart phone? Put it down and schedule times that you will pick it up and review the latest updates.
- Take 5! – Whenever you start to get overwhelmed or feel anxious, take 5 minutes to step outside and take a deep breath. Walk around your office or work space. there is no harm in taking 5 minutes to regroup.
- Say no with dignity an grace – You do not have to accept every invitation to get together or take on every task given to you. Do not take on more than you can handle, and really take a long hard look at what you can realistically handle. Unless you are wearing a cape and tights, I’m pretty sure you are not a super hero.
- Shower time is “your time” – This is one of the few times in your day that you can guarantee peace and quiet. Take advantage of it.
Purchase some aroma therapy products that you love and treat each shower like it is a spa getaway. Take some deep breaths and let the warm water wash away any tension that you were having.
- Take the long way home – no matter how you get o and from work or your daily activity, take the scenic route and enjoy a little peace and quiet before switching gears to family and kids and responsibilities.
Keep in mind that carving out time for yourself is vital for keeping yourself healthy, and that means a happier family and more productive work and school life.
This blog posts was written in honor of my sister. She takes on the world everyday. She is strong, beautiful, smart, giving and many times forgets to take care of herself.
Live happily, Mrs. Go To Girl