We all have it. Guilt. Guilt that if we take time, or too much time for our selves, that we aren’t being a good mom, or a good wife, or good ‘whatever’. It is quite the contrary. We can’t be a good anything if we aren’t taking time to re-charge. These days, we are pulled in 1,000 different directions and at the speed of light. Or at the speed of our cell phones. They are attached to us 24/7. I remember the days of waiting until you got home to check the answering machine. And guess what? We all survived! If we were going on a trip, we read maps, actual road maps. PAPER ones. We didn’t have cell phone to map our routes…we had a highlighter. Kids didn’t have to be constantly entertained, they rode bikes and made mud pies. It is a different time now. Everything is instant, in your face…news, people, noise. The time to relax is few and far between.
Some days, it’s nice to just have a day or a few hours to yourself. Take a walk, binge watch your favorite series on Netflix, read a book, exercise, go get yourself ice cream or maybe just spend a day organizing and cleaning. Wait, who are we kidding, how about day drinking with your BFF?! (if you don’t have to drive of course) Sometimes it’s nice just to treat yourself and take a break from the real world and people for a little bit.
Here are some quick tips. Because you are probably trying to reach this fast, or may have a child trying to get your attention:
Make Yourself a Priority. First, realize how important it is. YOU have take care of anyone else if you aren’t at 100%.
Schedule Your ‘Me’ Time. Make your free time as important as the pediatrician’s.
If You Have 5-10 Minutes. Sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.
If You Have 15-30 Minutes. Read one chapter of a book you’ve wanted to make time for.
Make time where you can. It can seem like everything is important, especially when it comes to work and tasks around the house. Delegate some of your responsibility, or cut out what isn’t absolutely necessary to your day to clear your schedule.
- Ask for help from your family. This can be asking a child to do chores or your spouse to run to the grocery store. Delegating tasks like this can free up twenty minutes to spend on yourself.
- Find jobs to outsource. This may hurt your budget a little, but find a service to mow your lawn or a cleaning service to help around the house. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! It will save SO much time and stress.
- Learn to say no. Don’t keep taking on endless tasks. Understand that you have a limit and learn to say no to things without feeling guilty.
Accept not doing things perfectly. Often people are bogged down the need to get every task just right. This can mean you stay after work, answer work e-mails on the weekend, or simply can’t go to sleep until all of the dishes are done. Accept that you can’t get everything done. At a certain point every night, put everything down and focus on doing something you want. Realize that most things can wait and you’ll have another opportunity to do tasks. Also, taking time away from important tasks can actually improve your performance. I really struggle with this, because I am a little OCD and A-type. #thestruggleisREAL
Put down the electronics. It’s easy to be sucked into a social media app or television show for hours. You may enjoy these activities but they can also consume all of your free time, many times without even seeming like it. For an hour each day, put down your phone, computer, and even your T.V. Get the most of your time by experiencing it radically present, not mindlessly wrapped up in an app.
Spend some time being alone. Get your spouse to go out with their friends. You could also tell them to stay home with you, since there are no kids running around. If you’re a teen, just shut your door or go to the bathroom. It is OK to just be alone. Teens especially are addicted to social media. It won’t kill them to read a book for 20 minutes a day.
Find time to be alone. Take a long, hot bath or sit in a room and think. Sort things out. A time like this can really help you notice somethings and it’s good for you to address your problems or go back to the good times.
- Cook or order one of your favorite meals. Eat what you like and be yourself. Sometimes during the rush of a work day we might find ourselves grabbing food on the go and eating it in a rush. Make time for yourself to cook something you enjoy and a slow sit-down mean to savor it.
Remember, If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being. Lack of time for ourselves often leads to feeling frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and out of balance…then we get a little coo-coo. Without this time for ourselves, we lose sight of what’s important to us. #FindYourZen
Do not EVER feel guilty for taking time for yourself. EVER. All batteries need to re-charge, if not they lose their power. Find your charging station and get to charging!