10 small ways to take time out for yourself and recharge
I never thought I would find myself writing an entry on how to make time for yourself. When I imagined myself writing about things I pictured it being about..... I don't know. Something not so low key!? But this topic truly has change my life so I think it's important to talk about!
If you read this entry about what it feels like to fill up too much of your time, and how rewarding / devastating that can be, then you know I struggled with time for years. I'm still not very good at it but I can breathe again, and that's an amazing feeling.
If you can relate on any level here are 10 small things you can do that will make a huge difference in your day to day life.
1- Wake up 30 mins early
Do you hit the snooze 3 times, rush out of bed, get ready, leave 5 mins late, rush to work, stay for 8 hours, drive home, make dinner, unwind for an hour, go to bed, repeat 5 times a week? What does that leave you with!? What time have you set aside to just be present and calm? Wake up 30 mins early tomorrow and soak up the fact that you are ahead of schedule, not rushing, and have 30 FULL MINUTES to do whatever you want!!!
2- Turn the phone off
This is a quick and simple tip. You know you waste more time on social media then needed. You're not learning, you're not enhancing your life, and you're not exactly calm either. Pull the plug and stop wasting that time.
3- Work less
Yep. I said it. And I mean it. It doesn't matter if you're self employed like my husband and I or you have a boss. You are still in control of your life, and if you aren't, you should be. You don't HAVE to stay an extra hour to finish up that last project. It will be there tomorrow. Turn done overtime. Yeah, extra money is nice, but so is seeing the people you love. Take the paid day off. That's why it's there. And don't be afraid to ask for time off, you have a life, and it isn't work. OR if it's an option either opt to work 4 longer days instead of 5 or take some work home instead of being stuck in the office.
4- Find a hobby
I know this sounds like it's just taking up more of your time, but everyone needs that 1 thing that's a release, that you look forward to, that clears your mind, that’s not a MUST, and switches life up!
5- Ask for help
Seriously. Big or small, ask! You don't have to do everything alone. You would be surprised how much stress is lifted when you ask if someone else can get the groceries this week, or pay that 1 bill, or help you tackle a chore in half the time. Just mentally knowing you have the support helps a ton.
6- Stop saying yes
This is HUGE. Every baby shower, gradation party, wedding, birthday bash.... I know somewhere in the rule book of life it states there are just some things that you have to do.... but guess what? You really don't. The world won't implode. You probably shouldn't miss your best friend’s wedding, but your second cousins 5th child's birthday... if life feels overwhelming, say “No, I can't make this one,” and feel your body relax. It's like magic.
7- Finish what you started
This my downfall. Start 10 projects all at the same time. Finish none of them. Freak out and cry a moth later about said unfinished projects. Not only do all these projects mentally take up time, because you are always thinking about them, physically you know you don't have enough time in 1 day to accomplish them all. So pick 1 project. Start it. Finish it. Enjoy it. Take a break. Repeat if desired.
8- Make a night time routine
These are the best. Setting aside 30 mins right before bed to just read a book, catch up on a tv show, drink some wine, or mediate. It feels amazing to end your day calmly. Time to reflect and unwind is a must for your body and your brain. From the girl who used to vacuum at 9 pm because "it had to be done" I know how unhealthy that is.
9- Book yourself in
Open up the calendar and book a time slot with yourself. I know this sounds dramatic but it's not. What it does is it guarantees free time in your schedule. If you set aside a hour for yourself next week and book it in just like you would any other important appointment you are more likely to commit to it, or work around it. If you try to find a free hour in your day the day of, we all know it's not going to happen. And the opposite is true too- if you do randomly get a free day you'll be so shocked and not used to it that you'll find yourself filling the day with things that don't need to be done, because that's what you're used to, it's routine, so make a schedule, create a new routine for yourself.
10- Don't be afraid to be bored
When was the the time you were bored!? With jobs, friends, family, tv, social media, busy cities, it's damn near impossible to be bored, and your bran needs that! It shouldn’t always be running. It's a machine, it needs downtime so it won't overheat!! The next time you feel bored, embrace it!! Use that time to look around, breathe, be super aware, clear your mind, think, ANYTHING other than rush to FILL you time again!
Taking time for yourself isn't easy. It's probably 1 of the most difficult things I have learned to do for myself over the years, but when done it's helped me so much! It's brought me back to things I enjoy, back to myself, and back to life. Start small so you aren’t overwhelmed, so it doesn’t feel like another chore, and watch life get better. Realizing there’s never actually going to be “more” time or “enough” time is a great first step, You can read about how to deal with time struggles here.