How to fit in 'me time' and still get your jobs done
Now that the kids are back to school we can start getting back to some normalcy again - hopefully that means we can spare some time for ourselves as well.
But 'me time' for most is a luxury, for some it’s a distant memory – even though it’s arguably one of the most important things we need, as human beings, in order to function properly. A lot of people have forgotten what it’s like to take a breather. We as a nation tend to live our lives at either end of the spectrum. We’re either the workaholic who doesn’t understand the concept of sitting still, or we’re the couch potato that has no get up and go. Neither which really grasp what the healthy work / life balance really is.
It’s these extreme ended lifestyles that seem to be sucking the life out of us all one by one. A lot of other countries seem to have this balance down to an exact science, but unfortunately we just aren’t there yet. And maybe we will never be – as a nation that is!
So I urge you to start thinking about taking hold of it for yourself, and really understand the importance of what it can do for your life. It’s more than just watching a bit of TV, it’s more than going out for a drink at the weekend to wash the memory of the previous week away. It’s about giving yourself permission to stop and to just breathe. The effect of this is greater and deeper, than you probably ever thought.
So how exactly can I fit it in and still get everything else done, I hear you ask.
It’s simple; all you need to do is actually start doing it. That’s it!
I know you may think I’ve gone mad; you’re probably rolling your eyes saying to yourself ‘if only it really was that simple’. But trust me, it can be and here’s how.
Figure out what ‘me time’ is for you
Firstly I advise that you take the time to really think about what kind of ‘me time’ works for you. Most of the time this is best done alone – as it really allows you to clear your head and just enjoy the silence. Oh and your own company! (YES it is possible)
If you are unsure of what I mean by the term ‘me time’, then here’s a few ideas of things you can do:
- Go for a walk
- Have a hot bath
- Go on a bike ride
- Listen to music
- Do one of your hobbies
Make sure that whatever you do, you do it just for the sheer relaxation and enjoyment. For instance, I draw and design a lot as part of my business – and I love it, but when I’m doing it for work it has a purpose and therefore isn’t particularly relaxing – contrary to popular belief. So when I’m trying to unwind I will look to pick up my favourite colouring book or immerse myself in a good romantic novel (anything Nicholas Sparks will do).
Make it a priority
We all start out with such good intentions. You jump out of bed thinking TODAY’S THE DAY! Today is the day I’m going to start doing ‘the thing’, only to walk downstairs and see that the ironing needs doing and the house needs cleaning. *major sigh*
What you have to realise is that, yes those things are important, and do need doing but you are important too - like top of the pile important! Once you start to realise this and acknowledge that your health matters, your mindset starts to change and it’ll become so much easier to make yourself a priority.
At first it’s not quite so simple to think like this, so I suggest you start making an appointment with yourself. It may sound crazy, (and I’ll admit, I am a little crazy) but hopefully doing this will help you to actually do it. Just think of it this way, you make appointments for the dentist, the doctors and the hairdressers, and you SHOW UP! You make time for it, you plan around it and most importantly you actually do it! Why? Because psychologically you’ve prioritised it – and that’s exactly what you need to do with yourself.
See it as necessary maintenance that you need to carry out in order to keep unlocking your potential – it is in there somewhere!
Get into a routine of having regular me time
The right time and length of your ‘appointments’ will differ from person to person because you need to do what works for you. Some people benefit from taking 10-15 minutes out daily, whereas others may prefer to take half a day all at once in order to really clear their head. They are both right, just not right for everyone – and that’s ok.
The key here is to get into the habit of a routine and stick to it (I know, I know – but it can be done). You may find you want to do something as soon as you get up to start the day off on a positive, or you may prefer to choose a different time of the day or week that more suitable.
Following this will hopefully builds up a good habit and before you know it it’ll just be a natural part of your day, just like brushing your teeth! Clean mouth, clear mind, can’t lose – that’s how they say it on Friday night lights right? (Haha)
TOP TIP: If you find it hard to stick to a routine (which I’m sure we all do), think about getting a planner to write it in – that way you can plan out your day and only schedule in what’s realistic for you to achieve. This will hopefully stop you from pushing your time to the back of the pile when you feel overwhelmed with everything you think you should be doing instead. I know you may think you’re SUPERWOMAN but even she needed a rest from time to time!
Stop feeling guilty
We’ve all been there; the thought of taking one minute out just to sit down and breathe fills us with guilt – especially if you’ve got others who depend on you like children or co-workers.
Guilt is a definite energy sucker, and it’s pretty good at getting every last drop of it too! You need to start rating your own importance higher than anything and anyone else. I know that may not be easy, but it is necessary. Just remember that you are no good to anyone if you aren’t well yourself – so you need to stay healthy girl!
Ok, so you may be thinking ‘that’s all well and good but how exactly does all of that allow me to still get my jobs done?’
Well it just so happens that when you take the time to let your mind relax, rejuvenate and renew it allows you to be more productive and efficient afterwards than if you were to just plod on without doing it. Our bodies can only run on empty for so long, and you’ll soon find yourself in a state of permanent exhaustion if you don’t take the time out to just breathe. And we all gotta breathe!
So that’s exactly why you need to just start doing it, the rest will all fall into place – oh yeah! I bet you can’t wait to start now – think of all that energy and life you’ve got just waiting inside of you.
It’s time to let it out!