Life today seems to be going at one thousand miles an hour. In fact, sometimes it seems that the more we do, the more there’s to do! As we check items off the list, it feels like we’re not, in fact, diminishing tasks, we’re simply making room for even more tasks to appear!
Yet we all know that self-care is important and should, ideally, come first. In today’s fast-paced society, how can we gain more time to put ourselves first? We’ve come up with 8 tips to find time for yourself without feeling like the day is getting away.
Listen to yourself
The expert on you is ultimately you. If what you want is more time, then take the time to take care of yourself. Listening to you and knowing what you want will have you hone in on what’s important. The best thing we can do to gain more time is to do things that don’t waste our time. However, it’s important to find the balance between time-gain productivity, and still, do what we love to do.
Totally cliché and even more surreal than ever is the concept of sleeping. However, this is the absolute best thing we can do for our body, minds and internal organs. When we close our eyes, not just our body but everything about us gets the rest they need to reset and process.
If we’re depriving our body from this important nightly natural self-pampering, chances are, this is going to show up during your waking hours in the form of stress, back pain, over or under eating, and mood changes. Gain time by sleeping tight and don’t waste time playing catch up, apologizing to people for your mood, or multiple visits to the doctor.
Don’t put it off
Take the time to get into a massage therapist; or get into your dentist to make sure your teeth (or dentures) are doing well, or get to the gym on time. Putting something off or getting there late is literally a huge waste of time.
Easier said than done, that’s true. Yet, when we obsess over how we’re going to pay the mortgage, whether we’re good enough for the job, or the kids’ rehearsal, we’re self-contaminating. Worrying about worrying is an actual thing in our culture and it’s causing us to stress even more than we already are as a society. Whenever possible, take the time to breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply, knowing that everything will be OK. Surprisingly enough, life has a funny way of working out much better when we feel relaxed.
Nature is refreshing and replenishing for our bodies and mind. You don’t have to go on a 5-hour hike in the middle of the day, nor on a trip to the Rocky Mountains when you need nature. Simply step outside. Your yard needs some TLC! Even if it’s just for five minutes, interact with something green or natural.
Ask for help
Sometimes, although we can handle a lot, we think we can handle it all. Asking for help not only frees up time for us but helps someone else feel good as well. Whether you outsource some of your work, or simply ask a friend for their time, people want to help. Don’t think you have to do everything alone because that’s not true. You’ll end up stressing yourself out more than you need to, and your body and mind will eventually take a toll.
Learn something new
Especially if it’s super random. This takes the mind off anything familiar and captures attention in a completely different way. The best part? You don’t even realize you’re giving the day-to-day a break. Learn about beard trimmers, or duck species, or tall buildings. The result? By taking a break you’ll get back to your work more presently and excitedly, not waiting for the clock to finally get to quitting time.
Life can get really serious, so take the time to have fun. Pulling out your phone to play a game, calling up a friend to catch up, going for a swim, or inviting that “secret crush” out for dinner all make the heart skip a beat and put a smile on our faces. Remember that having fun is a form of self-care, especially when responsibilities seem to take over our lives. Be present when you’re having fun and you’ll notice how nice and slowly time can go by.