Over the past couple of months, I’ve had a number of conversations with friends and family about what they’re doing and what they want to be doing and it was like the same conversation with all of them. They all mentioned that they were walking through life on auto-pilot and they all needed more time for themselves.
And how true is that? I think a lot of us wake up in the morning and think about every possible thing apart from ourselves and by the time our head hits the pillow 16 hours later, we still haven’t given ourselves a second thought. And I don’t blame us. We get so lost in our day jobs and studies that we push our own needs to the back of the list again and again. But if I’m going to be honest with you all like I always promise I would, yes, our jobs are important but our needs are just as important if not more so. And one of the things I’ve grown to learn is that once we look after ourselves – we can look after others so much better and there’s nothing better than that.
This autumn, I really want to start dedicating more time to ‘me’, and I think it’s the perfect time for you to join me too. Here’s what I’m doing and how you can do it too:
1. Schedule Time For Yourself
Sometimes it makes it easier to take time for yourself by scheduling it in like a meeting or appointment. No matter how busy you think you are, you’re bound to have a spare five minutes at some point. You can do whatever you wish with this time, but my advice would be to get out of the house away from any work (and most likely children too!). My Mum and I have started making time each week to get out of the house together and go for coffee at our gym – a perfect example of how simple a ‘me-date’ can be.
2. Do Something When Your Not ‘Doing’
Make the most of your commute. You don’t have to sit there in silence, waiting for the minutes to tick by, listen to a podcast whilst driving, read a book whilst on the train or you could even start learning a language, the possibilities are endless. I know that in the past I’ve managed to convince myself that I can’t spend time with myself because I’m busy doing these things. But what exactly am I busy doing? I’m busy making excuses when actually these are the perfect moments to be paying attention to and making time for ourselves.
3. Don’t Waste Time On The Things You Don’t Want To Do
Time is far too precious to be wasting it on things we aren’t happy doing. Sometimes there’s no avoiding this, and I’m sure there are things we do that we really wish we didn’t have to do, but that’s just part of life.
What I mean is, if you’re finding yourself doing things just to please other people, and it’s not helping you, maybe it’s time to consider why you’re still doing it. Perhaps you agreed to take on a long-term project at work but it’s not working out anymore and you can’t bring yourself to resign from the task for fear of letting someone down. The truth is though, your boss can and will find someone to fill your shoes and you saying ‘no’ to these extra jobs won’t hurt anyone and it most definitely wouldn’t do you any harm either.
4. Get Outside On Your Lunch Break
This is something I really try to do, especially as I do all aspects of my work from home. By getting outside on your lunch break and stepping away from the desk, you’re giving yourself a moment of ‘me time’ and giving yourself the space your head needs.
By switching environment when working, you’re also creating a natural pause in the day and you’re becoming mindful of what you’re doing and what you’re going to be doing, setting you up with a more positive mindset for when you get back in the office. On top of this, it might just help you to become more mindful of your eating habits too. Instead of eating in a rush, take notice of what you’re eating and savour the flavours. You’ll not only find this grounding, but it will stop you from having those pesky ‘boredom’ snacks too!
5. Turn Off Your Phone
I am so guilty of grabbing my phone when I’ve got a free second at the moment, whether it’s to check my emails or have a cheeky browse through twitter. And most of the time I do it because I convince myself its the only thing I have time for. But most of those times actually take up 10+ minutes and that’s plenty of time to plug into an audiobook, podcast or read a book. And there are so many other things you can do in this small pocket of time – just read this article here published on ’10 Tips For Health’.
How do you guys prioritise yourself? Are there things you love to do to aid you finding time that I haven’t included? I’d love to hear them if you do!
Love, Ella x