For some of us we were busy to begin with, and then the pandemic only made us even more busier. We have responsibilities at work and at home that we may unintentionally forget to take time for ourselves. So how can you make time for yourself when you're always so busy?
One of the first steps is to stop and realize that you don't have to handle everything yourself. In many cases, those around you can help out so whether its responsibilities at work or around the house, don't hesitate to ask for help and delegate others. Also, don't expect perfection - let go and trust in others to handle the job well. The next step is to stop putting off "me time". There is no optimal time for self care. If you're always putting yourself off until work is less busy or the children are back in school or your waiting for the perfect opportunity, then you will never seem to find the time for yourself. That is why it's essential to learn to stop and delegate your tasks.
In order to aim for better health and more happiness, you need to define what things you need in life. For example you can ask yourself:
- How much sleep do I need?
- What kind of exercise makes me feel good and keeps me in shape?
- How can I find ways to go outside and get some sunlight?
- What activities spark joy?
These are just a few, but taking the time to answer these questions and more will help you get a better understanding of what you need to start taking steps in caring for your overall wellbeing.
Depending on your circumstances, think of what you can do with the time you have. Maybe you can't allot an hour but perhaps you can spare 15 minutes a day or every few days to workout. Can you cut out some unnecessary tasks and try to go to bed earlier? Can you consolidate two or three tasks at the same time? For example if you don't have time to spare to meet up with a friend, could you make good use of the time you cook or drive to get groceries to catch up with your friends on the phone? If you carefully look at your schedule, you should actually be able to find small pockets of time where you can fill it in to take care of your own personal needs.
When you leave off your needs to whenever you have time, you will notice that you never seem to have time for it. So set a time. You can set an alarm to notify and remind yourself. It could be as simple as a reminder that tells you to go to bed now. When you set aside time for self-care, it can help re-energize yourself and help you become more prepared to tackle on the next day's tasks. It can also motivate you to make better use of your time and to put a stop on activities that don't benefit you.
To make it easier for you to meet your self-care goals, take time to prepare yourselves for it. For example, if you plan to work out for 15 minutes before you start work, have a bottle of water, your workout clothes, and exercise video picked out and ready the night before. This will give you no excuses to skip and can help make it easier for your to implement your goal. Or if you want to try to eat healthier, stop purchasing junk food and or put junk foods off your office desk and somewhere not as easily accessible. In this way you can help reinforce your positive behaviors and reach your self-care goals.
Aside from preparing yourself, you need to get those around you prepared. If your goal is to sleep earlier, then tell your spouse that you need them to either turn off their electronic devices or put in some earphones so that it is easier for you to go to bed at the designated time you've set. Also telling others can help give you a support system. On days you feel like giving up on working out in the mornings, inviting a friend to join you can help push you to achieve your goal.
Regardless of how busy we are, we can always take steps in making time for ourselves and taking care of our mental and physical health. In this way, we are at a better capacity to fulfill our roles both at work and at home.