Five Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself
In a society where busy-ness is glorified, connectivity is constant and the expectation to do more in less time is the status quo; it can be incredibly challenging to make time for yourself. Taking a bit of “me” time often falls to the bottom of the “to-do” list. However, in our current culture of constantly being on, the need for a few moments to yourself each day is vital. Without it, we can be left feeling unsettled, exhausted, and emotionally drained.
Now you may be wondering what time out for yourself even looks like, let alone how to achieve it. If the thought of shifting up your routine to create a bit more space for you feels overwhelming, here are a few simple tips to get you started:
- Make Time for Yourself a Part of your Daily Schedule: If your day is jam packed with meetings, schedule one with yourself. It can be as short as ten minutes, but the trick is to keep it. You would not break a meeting with the most important person in your company, so do your best not to break this meeting with the most important person in your life – YOU.
- Keep it Simple: Do not get overwhelmed by the idea that your time for yourself has to look a certain way. The beauty of it is that it is completely up to you! You do not need to meditate for 30 minutes, practice yoga for an hour, or take a three mile walk every afternoon to successfully create space. Perhaps your time is waking up a few minutes early to read the newspaper while your coffee brews, busting out of your office for a 15-minute walk in the afternoon, or listening to a guided meditation or a book on tape during your evening commute.
- Be Mindful: Mindfulness has become a buzz word. Because of the overuse, its meaning may seem a bit blurry. A simple way to practice being mindful is to pay attention to what you are doing while you are doing it. If you have carved out that 15 minutes to make time for yourself but your mind is stuck on work, your to-do list, or your next task… the benefits of this time may be less impactful. Get the most out of the time you have set aside by focusing all your energy on yourself.
- Just Breathe: One of the most powerful ways to get in to your body and out of your head, even for just a few moments, is to breathe. If you find your thoughts have wandered away from yourself, return to your breath. Take a few deep, slow rounds of respiration and notice how your body and mind respond. Additionally, if your day has gone completely off the rails and the meeting you set with yourself has come and gone, pausing to take a few deeps breaths in stillness is a quick way to honor your practice of creating even a small bit of time for yourself each day.
- Set Boundaries: The word “no” is one of the most powerful words in our language, however it can sometimes be the hardest to say. With the pressure to constantly overachieve, we are often left over-extended. It is important to recognize when you have taken on too much and respond by setting some boundaries. Keep in mind, when you do not have time to fill your own cup up, there is no way you’ll have the energy to fill the cups of others.
At the end of the day, remember to be kind to yourself. If you miss a day, or a week, trying to make time for yourself, all is not lost. Start again, keep it simple, and do not let busy get the best of you.