We are busy people who live in an even busier world. I bet there are 1,000 or more things requiring your attention right now. Your children need you, your home needs to be cleaned, you have an upcoming project due at work, and the list goes on. We play many different roles in our lives, parent, spouse, sibling, friend, etc. and they all require our time and attention at some point.
For some of us, we place really high (too high) of expectations on ourselves on how to best fill all these roles. These expectations are not always fair and not always true. We tend to be much harder on ourselves than we would ever be towards someone else.
Here we go again putting everyone else’s needs in front of our own and I’m here to remind you that it’s not fair to you, or the people that you love the most. In order to take the best care of them, you have to take care of yourself AND make it priority. But I know this is not easy, we’re busy!
So I came up with some ideas on how to make yourself a priority without taking a lot of your time; however, these ideas can make the world of difference to your day, to your spirit, and your expectations.
1) Breathe - Even the busiest people have to breathe. We all have to breathe to stay alive; however, how many people actually notice their breathing. This takes seconds out of your day, but slows you down just enough to get centered and start again. So the next time you are crazy busy and can’t take any “me” time, at the very least, stand still for one moment, and inhale a deep breath, close your eyes, and exhale. Do it a couple of times. You will feel better and be more focused.
2) Step Outside - If you have more than just a few minutes, take that breathing exercise and step outside. There is something about nature that refreshes you, especially if you have been cooped up all day inside your home or at the office.
3) Take a Walk - If you have at least 10-20 minutes, like a lunch break, take a walk and incorporate your breathing, nature, and a little bit of exercise. What a great way to combine all these tools and incorporate some “me” time without taking up a lot of time.
4) Ask for Help - When I get frustrated (especially around the house when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of chores to be done), I know it’s time to ask for help. Unfortunately, my family doesn’t always see what I see; so many times I have to ask for their assistance. But once they are aware, they jump right in and even want to help. Feeling overwhelmed? Remember, it’s not selfish to ask for help, it’s survival!
5) Say No - Part of the reason you have no time is because you may be saying, “Yes” to every request made of you. For the time being, practice saying, “No, thank you, not right now” instead. Or at the very least, pause before you respond and let the person know you will get back to them later. It gives you some time to think if this is something you really want to do.
6) Save 15 Minutes - Commit to saving 15 minutes a day where you spend it doing whatever you want to. Maybe it’s early in the morning before everyone wakes up or in the evening when everyone is in bed, but commit to it and use it. Read a magazine, send a text message to a dear friend, meditate, take a bath, whatever it is, just do it.
7) Read - This could be done in your 15 minute block, but even if you don’t have 15 minutes, it’s always nice to read from an inspirational book now and again. One of my favorites is The Mindful Woman, By Sue Patton Thoele. What I love about this book is I can open up to any page and read a short message. It’s great way to start your day with intention.
Please take some time today to make yourself a priority…not only for those around you, but also for you!
Until Next Time,