People are often so busy that they rarely think about the idea of how they're taking themselves for granted or putting themselves first more often. But the reality is that there are plenty of reasons why you should schedule me time every now and then — you just have to find the time and make the effort to do so.
I never really scheduled "me time" for myself in the past. I felt like there was always something else I should've been doing besides catching up with my favorite blogs or watching a movie just because I wanted to. Eventually, I realized my life was spinning out of control because I was putting everything else before myself. And while that's not necessary a bad thing in every single scenario, I realized that I was feeling stressed because of this lack of focus on myself and my needs. Now I make sure at least once a week to do something that I love — just for me. Due to this change in my life (one that I'm still figuring out every day, by the way), I'm starting to feel less stressed and more in control of my work-life balance.
Remember that you're just as important as everything else that is on your to-do list. Scheduling yourself me time is not something you should feel guilty about. You need recharge, and if you're constantly working and not allowing your brain to rest, you won't be able to be the best version of yourself. Here are some tips that hopefully will help you feel more relaxed about scheduling time to yourself.
1. Make Yourself A Priority
It might sound selfish, but if you put yourself first, everything else will probably fall into place. You need to make sure that you're being healthy mentally before you can accomplish anything else in your life. According to WebMD, Amy Tiemann, author of Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family and founder of Mojomom.com, said, "If you can't do it because you feel like you deserve it, look at it this way: You are a first responder. An emergency can come up at any time, and you should be as well rested and restored as you'd want your ER doc or EMT to be." It's important to fulfill your needs — no matter how big or small they may seem.
2. Wake Up An Hour Before You Normally Would
If you feel like you don't have enough time during your day to relax and devote yourself to things you like to do, then it might be a good idea to create the time you need instead. Wake up a few hours earlier to have more time for yourself. You can exercise, read, or drink coffee in silence. Plus, there are a lot of benefits to waking up early. According to Women's Health, early risers are more proactive, cheerful, and are less at risk for depression. Try going to bed and waking up earlier so you can have some time without being distracted by others. And if you're feeling rejuvenated, it can help you have a more productive lifestyle because you already took care of number one.
3. Let Go Of Control
It can be really hard to let go of control when you feel like you have to do everything to get anything accomplished. But saying goodbye to that anxiety is one of the first steps to finding more free time for yourself. According to The Huffington Post, try to be honest with yourself as to why you have a hard time letting go and pinpoint where the most severe areas are. Once you accomplish that, learn to surrender and allow others to help you. It's OK to admit that you need a little help, especially if it means taking care of ourselves again. Don't feel ashamed to just let things happen or to ask others for help. You're only human, and don't forget that.
4. Schedule It In The Calendar
If you're having a hard time making personal time a priority for yourself, then you might want to actually pencil it into your calendar. It might sound silly, but once you schedule it, you'll feel less inclined to cancel. Treat it as if it's a real meeting and don't even think about canceling it last minute, because then you're just being rude to yourself. According to Fast Company, schedule a time slot on your calendar and treat it with high importance. Get rid of things that can easily distract you from relaxing, and once you start adding it into your calendar, try to make it part of your routine. Schedule it during the same time every week, so it can become a solid habit.
5. Say Goodbye To Feeling Guilty
Sometimes people decide not to put themselves first because they feel guilty about it when they do. But instead of viewing me time as being selfish, view it as a necessity. According to The Huffington Post, Lorna Borenstein, CEO of online wellness video network, Grokker.com, said, "Treat your one daily 'wellness activity' as a scheduled commitment so you start to see it as a priority. Change your inner script from 'I'm being selfish' to 'I deserve this.' I know things come up and last-minute and emergencies sometimes must take priority. But treating your personal wellness as the priority prevents it from becoming a slippery slope."
6. It's OK To Say No
Just like how it's OK to not feel guilty, it's OK to say no to others. For you to be able to schedule some personal time in your routine, there are some tasks that you might have to turn down. According to Psychology Today, saying no to others is hard because we tend to have a fear of conflict and are afraid to disappoint others. But your friends and family should understand why you are telling them no when all you want is some time to yourself to recharge. They will only want the best for you even if it means saying no to them for that exact moment.
Don't feel guilty to schedule yourself some me time because you believe you should be doing something else. You're just as important to take care of as those dirty clothes or pile of dishes. Try and make sure you're taking care of yourself on the regular. Even if it's for only 20 minutes a day, devote that time to doing something you love. You can feel 100 percent better after the fact and may even enjoy the rest of the day that much more.
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