If you are anything like me your days are packed with stuff from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep – work, meetings, networking events, lunch with friends, volunteering, taking care of kids, mandatory fun event, and doing laundry.
You’re so busy with everything else you wake up one day and realize that you have done absolutely nothing for yourself in…well you can’t remember.
No time for a haircut.
No time to read a book.
No time for binge-watching “The Crown,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Scandal” or “Blackish.”
No time for a bubble bath. No massage. No mani/pedi.
No working out.
And without that me time, well you probably don’t feel 100 percent. I know that after months without a haircut I feel blah. If I don’t get any relaxation time I feel frazzled, constantly. And that’s good for no one – not my coworkers, not my spouse and definitely not for me.
So prioritizing me time is one of those things that I must put on the top of my to-do list. Ahead of that big work project and cleaning the house. Why? Because I know that if I can take any time for me that my work project will go much better and my chores won’t seem so tedious.
So just how do you find that time for you?
7 Ways to Carve Out Time for Yourself When You Have No Time
Find 5 minutes in your day. I know, I know, you probably don’t think that you have 1 minute, but find 5. Maybe it’s when you wake up in the morning or a coffee break or right before you go to bed. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare do something for you. Maybe it’s drinking that coffee in solitude. Or reading that magazine that’s been on your nightstand for months. Or start a journal. Walk around the block at your office.
Finding just a few minutes will help you clear your head to get back into the game.
Use that commute to your advantage. I used to commute over an hour each way to work every day. After awhile I really can’t listen to that new song AGAIN no matter how many times I change the station.
So I started listening to podcasts and audiobooks. This got me thinking more on my commute and not about my to-do list when I got to my destination.
Breathe. If you find yourself feeling stressed, take one moment and just breathe. Take a few deep breaths, step away from your computer and close your eyes. Meditate using an app or YouTube video. Taking just a few moments away from what you’re doing will refresh you.
Pro-Tip: Blue Star Families’ members can get the Headspace app for free. Click here for more information.
Schedule your me time. I’m a calendar person, to the point that I tend to plan weeks in advance, especially when I’m busy.
So that workout? Put it on your calendar. If it’s there then you can’t schedule a meeting during that time and you’ll get a reminder to go take care of you.
Working military spouse Terry Babcock-Lumish said she schedules her spinning class as a meeting on her calendar.
After regularly letting workouts slip while prioritizing time for clients, colleagues, and students, I began scheduling a spin class or yoga as if they were meetings with myself. When we reschedule on ourselves, that’s a statement we make about the importance of our own physical and mental well-being
Even better – find someone to keep you accountable.
At one of my jobs, my co-workers and I used to workout together over lunch twice a week at our office gym. So on days when I felt particularly like not working out I knew that they would bug me at 11:30 a.m. to go change and that they’d be disappointed if I didn’t join them.
Outsource something. If you are really strapped for time and your house is becoming a hot mess, look into hiring someone. Taking something off of your to-do list creates time for you to do something that you want to do, which I’m guessing is not vacuuming the whole house or dusting.
Say no to something. Did you sign up to be FRG secretary but can never make meetings? It may be time to help find a replacement. The organization could benefit from having someone in that position that they can count on regularly. Don’t just completely bail on them though, help find a solution so they aren’t left high and dry.
Do the thing that you dread first. Sometimes I won’t do something on my to-do list *cough*vacuum*cough* because it’s my least favorite task but I always feel better once it’s done. Then I can do something that I want without feeling guilty. I’m the type of person that if my house isn’t a certain level of clean or my desk is too disorganized I can’t get anything done, including relax. So get those dreaded tasks done as fast as you can so that you can enjoy binge-watching “The Crown.”