Need to take some ‘me time’?

07 September 2021

When you open your diary or calendar, what do you see? Is there any time in there just for you?

Life can sometimes feel like it gets busier every day, and finding time to look after yourself and your own wellbeing can be difficult. Before you know, it you can start to feel very stressed and burned out.

To keep you operating at full capacity, and getting the most enjoyment out of life, it can be really helpful to schedule a bit of time for yourself each day. Here are a few things to think about, according to experts.

Schedule some wellbeing “check ins”

Many mental health advocates recommend scheduling some wellbeing ‘check-ins’ throughout the day. This can be as simple as making a note to stop for a minute or two each hour and see how you’re feeling. Is your stress building, are you taking on too much? Is there anything that you need to push back on to other people?

To help you with this, you can set up a reminder in your phone to stop every so often to walk around, take a few deep breaths or repeat some affirmations to help to keep stress levels at bay. Also, look for opportunities to check in with your surroundings, and take notes of things you feel grateful for.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

Feeling overwhelmed? Depending on your circumstances, it may be a good idea to find other people who can help you take some of the load off. Hire a cleaner, a gardener, book a babysitter or consider a virtual PA to help you get tasks done.

Book out time for you

If you have the sort of work life that allows it, why not book in an hour off every so often for something you enjoy doing – a facial massage maybe, or a longer lunch with friends?

Even if you can’t take more than a short break, put it in your calendar so that you know you’ll take it and make the most of it. If you have kids in school, you may take a guilt-free annual leave day to spend at home luxuriously doing nothing when you need to recharge. According to experts, these opportunities to “fill your bucket” can give you more resilience for future stressors.

Try to stick to a good sleep schedule

A lack of sleep can really dent your quality of life and many people underestimate the sleep they need. If you’re the type who stays awake for hours at night to eke out that little bit of time you get to yourself, it can be a hard adjustment to bring your bedtime earlier.

But think of it as an investment in your wellbeing. If you can head to bed a bit earlier a couple of nights a week, it can help you keep on top of your “sleep debt”.

Also, try to limit your devices when it gets closer to bedtime. And don’t stress about whether you’re getting a “perfect” night’s sleep – it could be counterproductive.

Make the most of your downtime

When you’re busy with work and family life, it can be hard to find the time to do the other things you love.

If you know you have only 45 minutes free until your next commitment, for example, it’s tempting to think it’s too short a time to do anything. But if you plan it out, you might be surprised what you can fit in.

If you know exercising energises you, get your gym gear ready and jump on the chance to fit in a 20- or 30-minute workout in some downtime. Or keep a book you’re reading nearby so that you can indulge for a bit instead of mindlessly scrolling your phone when you’re waiting for your next appointment. And lastly, while you may not always have time for a hike, a short walk around the block to feel the sun on your face might do wonders to lift your spirits.


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