Photo courtesy of SparkPeople
How often have you found yourself thinking or saying the following?
- "I wish I had more time for myself."
- "I'm so busy! I don't have a moment to breathe."
- "I need more hours in the day."
- "I don't have time for that."
We lead crazy, busy lives. And the one thing we never seem to have time for is ourselves. This problem seems even more pervasive as we work harder to meet the challenges of this new economy.
Creating more personal time tops the list of goals many people want to accomplish. Here are a few ways you can make "me" time a reality:
1. First, decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day. Stop feeling guilty for taking time out for you, and realize in the long run, it's a win-win for everyone. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best to all you must accomplish. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it's a necessary dimension of self-care!
2. Decide how best to spend "me" time. How each of us chooses to spend free time is as individualized as we all are. If you had an extra 15 minutes, a half hour, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list and keep it handy when you begin scheduling time into your calendar.
3. Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check your emails constantly and end up spending more time on your computer than you planned? Run to the supermarket daily to pick up dinner rather than plan in advance and shop once? If this sounds like you, you must take the time to organize your responsibilities, and you will gain more free time.
4. Learn to say "no" to requests to do things that you don't really want to do, don't value, or don't bring you satisfaction and joy.
5. Ask for help with chores that don't necessarily have to be completed by you alone.
6. At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including "me" time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it non-negotiable.
7. Commit to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of "me" time every day. Do something (or nothing) that completely lets go of responsibilities and releases your mind, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.
8. Create a daily ritual. This can be a bath, listening to music, taking a walk or meditating. You will find yourself looking forward to this time!
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