The Importance Of Having Quality Time For Yourself
In the ever increasing busy and hectic days of modern lives, we find ourselves playing multiple roles in the society – parent, child, sibling, spouse, worker, friend, and enemy. Our lives are in a state of permanent emergency and everyday we are being chased round the clock. In an attempt to beat the hustle, we get lost in the never ending tasks and become uptight and fun-less. Gone are the days when we run around the neighborhood dressed as superman, sipping ice balls with our gang, and generally just enjoy life.
When was the last time you read a book for pleasure? How often do you pursue a hobby or personal interest? Are you spending enough time on things you like to do? If you find yourself hopelessly searching the archives of your memory for the last time you had a moment to yourself, join the millions of people who are experiencing the time famine epidemic.
When you are lacking of ‘me’ time, your whole mentality and well-being will be affected. You start to feel frustrated, tired, unsatisfied with life, and disappointed. Taking time off for yourself allows you to renew and rejuvenate. You will emerge with more vigor and energy to face every day’s chaos.
Taking time for yourself is not a selfish act. It is really about honoring and connecting with yourself. It is essential for a balance of a healthy mind, body, and soul. Taking care of yourself is one of the first steps on the journey of discovering your truth and accessing your creativity. Time for yourself does not have to take half a day or come at someone else’s expense. In fact, taking the time to replenish and nurture yourself will make you better to support those you love. It is often the simple things that can make the biggest difference.
In order to make time for yourself consider the following points:
- What would it take to make time for yourself a priority?
- What activities bring you joy or nurture you?
- What is keeping you from doing the things that energize and inspire you?
- How can you bring more of these simple treats into your day?
Here are a few tips for adding some ‘me’ time into your schedule.
Keep a time diary – Find out if you are wasting time on multiple trips to the store. How can you combine errands? Also, take note of the positive activities in your recent past that energized you, and make plans to do these activities more often.
Set a schedule for daily routines – A regular day to day routine helps your body to be in a rhythm.
Run errands at off peak times – Avoid the bank on Friday afternoons and the supermarket on Saturdays. Try to run errands at times when facilities are less crowded. This will definitely save you lots of time!
Make dates with yourself – Block off time in your schedule for activities that you want to do. Whatever your activity of choice, make these dates non-negotiable. Don’t “pencil them in” with intentions to erase them later if another obligation comes up.
Take five – At the beginning and end of each day, take five minutes for yourself. Read a poem. Take a walk. Meditate. Write in a journal. Take a bubble bath. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Go smell the flowers.
Research your next family vacation – Nothing beats browsing the bookstore or library to get ideas for future family vacations. Instead of a trip to Disney check out sailing, climbing, or even banana boating!
Dance – Shut the blinds. Take off your shoes. Put on your favorite dance music and boogie. You’ll emerge ready for anything.
Workout at the gym – This is sound advice for everyone, but especially for executives whose jobs require long periods sitting at a desk. If you need help getting motivated, enroll in a fun class like kickboxing, Tae Bo or yoga.
Massage – Head to the local spa for an aromatherapy massage. If you have time, a ten minute hot tub or steam bath will increase the overall relaxation effect. Alternatively you can also have a spa time at home.
Correspond with a far away friend – With the introduction of e-mail, letter writing is becoming a lost art form. When you write by hand, it’s special. Take your time, speak from your heart and rediscover forgotten parts of yourself that your faithful friend always remembers.
Create a support network – If you have kids, team up with other moms to trade off childcare for a mom’s day out. In the workplace, find one or two trusted co-workers to talk with during times of stress. You can also find online communities and support network like Wellsphere which offer help from experts around the globe.
Fair is square – Redistribute responsibilities with your partner if you are the only one tending to all responsibilities.
Learn to say no – Say no to things that you have no interest in and substitute that time with some ‘me’ time.
While you likely have many people who depend upon you (your boss, your spouse, your kids), remember that you can’t give to anyone else when you are running on empty. Make yourself a priority, and you may just find that not only you, but also those around you, benefit from your revitalized spirit.