The past few months have felt like I’ve been running around nonstop. Like most people, I’m a busy person always having tons of things on my to do lists (I love lists, I mean LOVE….OBSESSED- but, that’s a whole other blog post). To give you some background on me, I work full time for an oil and gas company and I teach yoga classes in my spare time at a couple of studios here in Oklahoma City. I also have a husband who races bicycles and with that is a lot of traveling to local and regional races. I enjoy cycling, running, reading and journaling as well as spending as much time as possible hanging out with my husband and friends.
While on vacation recently with my husband I had a chance to take a timeout from everything and evaluate just how I am spending my days. I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough time to decompress and have “me” time and I was dangerously burning the candle at both ends. I had to do something quick or else I was going to lose it. The stress of not getting everything on my to do list done was starting to get to me.
I decided to make some changes to my schedule and focus more on me. Doing more things that allowed me to slow down and spend time on myself. I wouldn’t say that I am a loner or homebody but I very much enjoy spending time by myself reading, journaling or studying. I like to light a candle, turn on some music and chill out. That was first and foremost on my priority list and now I make sure that I schedule time to do this a few days a week on my calendar. If I block out the time then I know for sure that I will be able to make it happen.
One thing I struggle with is agreeing to do something without thinking it through first. I commit to doing it, then when it gets closer to time I end up dreading it because it’s not really what I wanted to do in the first place. I just wanted to make the other person happy. I’ve made a commitment to myself to not immediately respond to invites and think it completely through first before accepting. This has been very helpful. Once I came to realize that people are still going to like me even if I don’t always do what they want me to, it made things a lot less stressful.
Here are some tips for slowing down and spending time on yourself. Trust me, you will be so glad you did these things.
1. Give yourself a little extra time in the morning for journaling, reading, yoga, mediation, quiet time, etc. If we can start our day doing things for ourselves, it sets the tone for the day. Spend a few minutes focusing on how you want to spend your time that day while being sure to throw in some extra time for yourself.
2. Simplify your tasks. Simple as that. Practice better time management. There are a ton of great resources to help with that.
3. Turn off social media!!!!! We spend far too much time on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Turn it off and commit to only checking it once a day. You could even choose to do a “social medial detox” and (dare I say it) spend a few days away from all of your social media feeds. Trust me, everything will be okay and the world will not come to an end without you obsessively checking in to see what all your peeps (who most of them you could really care less about-admit it!) are doing, who they are with, what they ate for dinner and where, what cute thing their kid or dog did or their latest politically, controversial rant.
4. Run a hot bath, light a ton of candles and turn on some slow jams. You might even get a little frisky and pour yourself a glass of wine or a cocktail.
5. Just say no. When someone invites you to do something and you’re not up for it, just say so. That person would rather you didn’t come then show up and be a fuddy dud the whole time.
6. Block out “me time” on your calendar. This is important. It ensures you won’t book something else during that time and you will have no excuse but to do whatever it is that YOU want to do.
7. Ask for help. You are only one person and you can’t do it all. Delegate chores to your children or spouse. If you have the financial ability, hire someone to mow your yard or clean your house, take your clothes to the cleaners instead of dealing with it yourself, whatever you can think of to take some burden off of yourself.
Your time here on Earth is short and it flies by so quickly. Sometimes way too damn quickly. Value your time and spend more of it on yourself.
“At the end of the day, if we don’t value ourselves, what can we expect
anyone else?” Danielle LaPorte