Despite it being essential to our wellbeing, carving out a little time for ourselves can feel like an uphill struggle. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we don’t need the time or that it’s better spent looking after others. I’ve been guilty of that and admit that there have been many times during my life when my own wellbeing has not been a priority. I don’t know whether the shift came slowly with age or with better education but either way i’m glad that it did.
If you’re longing to find more time for yourself but are facing a daily challenge to make it happen then here are a few things that have helped me over the years…
Ask Yourself What You Need
I always find it helpful to think on paper, it helps me get everything out of my head and makes it easy to review. So, grab a notebook and a drink while you ponder over the question ‘what do i need?’. Maybe your body is craving more time to stretch and exercise, you long to explore your creativity or you want to expand your mind by reading more...the list could go on. And, it provides your first sign post on your path to finding more time for yourself.
Say No More Often
There’s no doubt that we all need to do this a little more than we do. We find ourselves over committing far too often and then wonder why we don’t have time for ourselves. I accept that it can be a challenge though to say no, we worry that people will think less of us and that we are letting them down. But, if the alternative is saying yes and then resenting the time that it takes then aren’t we really letting them down anyway - as well as ourselves? I think so. Here are some tips on saying no with a little grace, practise them often and i promise that it gets easier.
Creating a ritual around the time you take for yourself helps you to transition easily from one moment to another. It can be as simple as brewing your favourite tea before you begin, taking a warm shower before changing into your yoga clothes or simply lighting an aromatherapy candle to naturally lift senses during those precious moments.
Set Aside Your Phone
You deserve your own undivided attention. And so put away your phone. You’ve heard it before, I know but our phones can grab our attention in a heartbeat and take us off track before we know it; plus they use up more time than most of us realise. Changing that is easier than you think though because out of sight really is out of mind - mute it and put it in a drawer! Not only does this give you a little extra time that you can spend on yourself but it makes unplugging a habit - which gets easier the more you do it.
Practice doing nothing
There was a time when I was wrapped up in multi-tasking and chased one time management method after another - the thought of doing nothing sounded terrifying! But over the years I realised that i’d got it all wrong. I honestly think that I learnt the most about doing nothing from my dog, she’s so happy just to be and it’s a pleasure to sit with her and do the same. It takes time to feel comfortable doing nothing. That inevitable feeling that you should be doing something else creeps in. I simply say hello to it and let it move on like a passing cloud. Give it try, it encourages you to slow down and let go of the need to always be busy.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.