All right, I know I’ve been banging on about how important it is that we are all finding me time each and every day, and we’ve been sharing our #champagnemoments all over the place, but I’ve been getting quite a few messages from you asking the big question: HOW?
I’m glad you asked, because I’ve got this shizzle sussed, my friends!
Since my recent hospital visit, my top priority has been to find ways to slow the hell down. I mean, when your health is on the line, you suddenly find ways and means that were right in front of you before but you were too freaking busy to look.
But you know that demonstration on a plane that tells you that when oxygen is required, masks will fall from the ceiling and YOU NEED TO PUT YOUR OWN MASK ON BEFORE YOU HELP OTHERS AROUND YOU? Yeah, well think of that flight as your life, and those oxygen masks as sleep and food and exercise and general wellbeing. How are you going to put masks on your kids and your husband and your boss and your parents and everyone else who relies on you, when you’re gasping for air?
HOW, TELL ME, HOW??
Sorry, I’m a bit worked up about this topic. Does it show?
The answer is, of course, you fucking can’t, so STOP TRYING.
My suggestion to you is that you follow these tips to ensure you make time for yourself every day. Some days it may just be a few minutes to have a cup of tea under a tree, but please make sure other days it’s something more substantial, like a girls’ night out or a movie on your own, or a week at a no-children resort with your own personal butler.
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule – The wise and beautiful Bron Maxabella wrote this outstanding and beautiful post on finding time to blog, but you can apply it to whatever is important in your life – but make sure it’s whatever is important to YOU.
If you love a good system, you can also check out Sonia Stackhouse’s awesomesauce Sanity Folder. I have instigated this in my life and it excites me beyond what is socially acceptable. I’d like to give Sonia my firstborn as a thank you gift but she won’t take her.
In all this scheduling and organising, don’t forget it’s crucial to schedule in time for yourself. This is new to me but I’m trying to include at least half an hour every day (which I use to exercise), plus a larger block a couple of times a week. Put this time in – NOT in pencil – and don’t move it for anyone unless they are on fire. What you do during this time means is entirely up to you. For me it’s running, yoga, meditation, time out with the girls, bushwalking, and maybe the occasional (non-animated) movie on my own where I don’t have to share the popcorn or shoosh anyone.
2. Discipline – If you’re supposed to work three days a week, work three days a week. If it’s 40 hours, keep your evenings and weekends free. Sure, urgent stuff comes up but if you find it coming up week after week, you need to look at how you’re dealing with this. Oprah may be a bit of a sanctimonious pain in the arse at times, but she was right when she said you teach people how to treat you. If people demand too much of you and you roll over and ask them to scratch your belly, they’ll keep on coming back for more. Stand up for yourself and your right to live a balanced life.
3. Get your family onside – Tell them you’re struggling if you’re struggling. I find this very tough, which seems silly now I think about it because they love me. I want to be all things and I want everyone I love to think I’m super. But I’m not; I’m human. So last week I told my husband I need more help. He’s happy to provide it. And my mother is happy to watch my kids sometimes too. That’s awesome. But they don’t know if you don’t tell them, because they’re busy dealing with their own stuff. And, you know, probably not psychic.
4. Outsource – Outsource whatever you hate doing, or whatever is robbing you of time, if you can afford it. Not everyone can, but if it’s an option, why wouldn’t you? Check out this list of the best stuff to outsource we published a while back.
5. Exercise – It’s not a bonus or a nice-to-have, it’s required to keep you healthy. Get outside if you can, and join a group for bonus socialisation. Exercising not only keeps your body healthy, but it’s great for dealing with anxiety and mild depression. I find, when I’m at my most anxious, it’s almost impossible to force myself to leave the house to go exercise, so I make deals with my brain. I’ll go for 10 minutes and then come home if I hate it. I almost always keep going once I’m out.
6. JUST. SAY. NO. To carpooling, or tuckshop, or managing the under 8s soccer team. The world will go on. Sure, the P&C will tell you we all need to contribute if the system is going to work, but you are your first priority and sometimes it’s just not possible.
7. Hold on – Try to keep the big picture in the front of your mind. Yes, there are times when life can seem incredibly overwhelming but this isn’t forever. Sometimes you need to grit your teeth and carry on. When things are bothering me, I like to put it to the “Will this matter in five years” test. Almost every time, the answer is no.
Okay, so there are seven ways for you to cope with the busy in your life and find some space for yourself. I hope they help you – and that if you do use them and find yourself with extra time, that you spend it on yourself. Do something you love. Or just breathe.
Please, let me know if this helps. Or if you have any other tips on finding me time to share with readers that you’ve found helpful.
What would you do with extra time in your day?