Deciding to dedicate time to ourselves can be challenging, especially when we lead crazy, busy lifestyles. And the last thing on our to-do list is us. In the last six months how often have you found yourself thinking or saying the following?
“I wish I had more time for myself.”
“I’m so busy! I don’t have time for that.”
“I need more than 24 hours in a day.”
Creating more personal time tops the list of goals many people want to accomplish. But between work life, family time, relationships and social events, we are constantly performing a balancing act where the scales are perpetually tipping in favor of anything but ourselves.
Here are 5 reasons why moving ourselves from the bottom to the top of our priority lists will help us achieve greater balance in our lives:
1. Your Mental and Physical Health is Important
Without realizing it, you actually teach people how to treat you: If you don’t put our own needs first you run the risk of people in your lives picking up on that and taking advantage. Creating healthy boundaries can allow you to be clear what you are willing to give to others and more importantly what you are willing to give to yourself.
Taking care of yourself does not necessarily mean you should focus on your physical appearance but it’s about moving your focus inwards to you internal and emotional well-being.
For example, have you ever had an overwhelming or stressful week, then the weekend comes and you find yourself stuck in bed sick?
If you don’t put yourself first, your body will force you. Stress and lack of sleep has the ability to inhibit your body’s immune system, leaving you vulnerable – we all know about that dreaded seasonal colds.
Take a moment and ask yourself the question, ‘Why am I so busy?’ Make a list of all your daily tasks and use this information to find time for yourself. Start with 15 minutes a day.
2. Your Relationships will Flourish
Have you ever had an entire conversation with your partner, or a family member or friends and come away with absolutely no idea what they were talking about? Do you think they don’t realize when they’re talking to you, and you’re so mentally exhausted, you’re not actually present in the moment with them? It can be hard for them and it leaves you feeling guilty.
It is important to surround yourself with a strong and positive support network when making life changing decisions. A good support network will allow you time and offer understanding when you say no to nights out, lunches, brunches and dinners, and social gatherings.
In the end, allowing yourself time to rest will help you become a better listener and a more enjoyable person to be around. It will enable you to truly be present in the conversation and the time spent with loved ones. The result being that you will become the strong and positive support network for them in return.
3. Allow yourself time to Discover Career Goals
When was the last time you didn’t have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning to go to work? Can you remember the last time you felt appreciated in your job? How often do you get a sense of achievement and job satisfaction in your career? Do you have a good work/life balance?
Sometimes it’s really easy to fall into the trap of job security, especially when you have a house and family that depend on you. It can feel a bit overwhelming to consider the possibility of giving it all up to take a chance on a new career or even the same job in a new company.
You might want to consider talking to a mentor who can help you narrow and develop these ideas. They can open your eyes to problems you may not have noticed. They might help you see things from a different perspective and challenge you to focus on what needs to be your number one focus at this time in your life. Remember, it doesn’t all have to be achieved at once, start small
4. Eliminate Distractions
If you want to set your priorities straight you need to start by getting rid of your distractions. It’s time to start bettering your life.
Begin by spending some time re-evaluating your relationship with your phone. For example, if you check your phone for 10 minutes every hour, and you are asleep for 8 of those hours, that’s almost 3 hours a day spent on your phone. Think of how much you could achieve in that time.
Try turning off your email and social media notifications and limit the time you spend checking these to 15 minutes, twice a day to start with.
Remember to start small, try it for a week to begin with and take note of the results.
5. Allowing Yourself Time to Reflect and Re-Evaluate
Now what? With all the spare time you have on your hands by eliminating your distractions, you now need figure out how to utilize it to your advantage. Ask yourself the following:
‘What do I really want out of life?’
Treat your personal diary like your work diary, block out time each week for your new priorities. Not everything you try at the beginning will work for you, so it’s important to re-examine more frequently and adjust where necessary. But, hopefully your priorities include a lot more of yourself.
If you find yourself saying ‘I feel like I don’t have time to do this’, then you know that’s even more reason to do this.
Need some support around prioritizing self-care or getting a clearer idea of what that even means? I would love to connect with you and see if I can help guide you through this process. Please contact me for further information on how I may be able to help you.