We lead busy lives, especially if you are a parent with a career, a home and one or more projects going on. In addition, many people identify achievement with being extremely busy and that in order to be successful, we need to be able to multitask and excel at each of the many things that come our way. The feeling that there are not enough hours in a day for everything we need to do is not unusual.
One of the most often heard justifications for developing or maintaining a regular yoga practice (or taking a moment for oneself) is lack of time. At one point or another in our lives we have all told ourselves that we don’t have time for certain activities.
“It’s not the right time“, “I have too much to do now” or “I’ll do it later” are some of the excuses we use for not investing the time in ourselves. The truth is that the perfect moment may never come, you will always have things to do and finish, and procrastination is a code word for “it’s not going to happen today”. We all do it!
However, one of the examples that comes to mind whenever I think about this topic is the following: You wouldn’t miss your child’s doctor’s appointment or skip an important meeting at work, so why would you fail to do what is key to staying healthy and balanced? Taking time for our own needs is a right and a choice. We always have the power to decide what’s a priority and what’s not.
Thinking that you don’t have enough time is a limiting belief but how do you actually make time for yourself?
How to make time for yourself
Here are nine ideas that you can try to carve out some well-deserved me time.
1. Going to bed/waking up earlier:
Getting up and going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier can be the perfect way to optimize your mornings and evenings. You might also discover that it harmonizes with your biorhythm so you feel better rested and therefore with more energy. Set up an alarm to remind you to go to bed some time before you naturally would and be strict.
2. Reduce consumption of TV series, social media browsing and Internet surfing:
Have you noticed how much time you spend per day watching series, scrolling through social media or surfing the internet just for fun? Without even realizing it minutes fly by and we lose precious time that we could spend doing a short meditation or a quick flow.
3. Modify the household management:
Redistribute tasks with your partner, among family members or, if it’s within your possibilities, consider hiring someone (yes, it’s ok to ask or even pay for help).
4. Plan ahead:
Organize house cleaning, shopping and meal preparation to family outings and vacations. Get a big grid calendar or planning tool and write down things like deadlines, so your family will know that you’ll need extra help and care the previous days.
5. Optimize your children’s meals and bedtime:
Although setting rules and boundaries might sound artificial, establishing a regular rhythm will allow you to stay fully focused on your kids and their needs within those limits.
6. Arrange for someone else to look after the children:
Ask another mum! Find someone you trust and offer to reciprocate the favour some other day, or ask a student to babysit.
7. Use your commute time on public transport to do something for yourself:
Listen to music or podcasts, meditate, read a book, knit or crochet. It’ll help taking your mind off your to-do’s list and think more creatively.
8. Be mindful about your time management:
Avoid habits, activities and people that waste your time and energy. Harsh but true.
9. Put it on your calendar and make it a priority:
If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening. Remember: investing in yourself is not a waste of time.