Post It! by Let Them Eat Celebration Cakes
Making time for yourself is always important, but it’s even more urgent when you are feeling stressed-out, tired, irritated or sad. Many of us are reeling with the overload of bad news. With high job loss, financial concerns and the pressure of doing more with less, we need to re-learn how to take a break.
When you make yourself the priority it helps you complete things accurately the first time so you don’t have to waste time following up on something you’ve already done. Recently in the news was information on how a power nap in the afternoon can help you feel more alert and energized, and improve memory as well. We all know getting enough sleep makes a big difference, but having the experts back you up doesn’t hurt.
We need to know that it’s okay to slow down and say no to things. Whether projects or people, we just don’t have time for everyone and everything. Stop feeling guilty about it. Just say “I have an appointment with myself that I have to keep.” Remember that old line “You can’t please every body all of the time.” It’s true.
A recent article on Web MD shows that more happiness helps your heart. When we are motivated, passionate and excited about things we feel happy. Try to limit those activities that you hate. Swap chores with your spouse or the kids. Say no to parties with people you hardly know. Take a walk by yourself – without the headphones. You’ll be amazed at all the things you pass by and miss; birds in flight, the multiple shades of green and shape of every leaf, or your neighbor’s cute and cuddly dog.
So how do you plan time for yourself? Here are a few ideas:
- Make a list. Write down a Joy and Pain list. Add the things you really want to do but don’t have the time for; gardening, painting, going to a concert or getting tickets to a NBA game. On the other side add the items that you really don’t like, those things you procrastinate on because they bring down your energy. This will give you a starting point.
- Me weekend. Get out your calendar and schedule some time for you. Don’t limit it to a mere hour or two. That’s not enough time to fix months or even years of neglect. Give yourself a whole weekend. Unplug from the phone, TV, computer and cell phone. The quiet will give you the peace you’ve been craving, and you’ll be amazed how much you can done without all those distractions.
- Organize. Look at the list you made of your Pain activities, those things you just don’t like to do. Can you pay someone to do them? Can you trade your brother-in-law babysitting time for him to do your taxes? What can you get rid of? Can you set a monthly reminder to text you a reminder to pay bills? Use time management systems that work for you.
- Take breaks. Whether at work or at home, don’t work through break time. Taking 10-15 every two hours is mandatory to keep you sane. It helps keep your mind fresher so you can solve problems and get your to-do list done. Taking even 5 minutes every hour to walk around the building, close your eyes or listen to a favorite song is invigorating and relaxing. Even though it feels like it’s interrupting your concentration, you’ll find that stopping and focusing on something else for a few minutes improves your focus.
So this week, try setting aside more time for yourself. No one cares about your happiness more than you do. The funny thing is, when you’re happy, your spread joy wherever you go, making those around you happier too. It’s a great win-win situation. At the very least it will help diffuse those over reactions we’re all prone to if you feel taken care of and rested. Try it today and see how it feels.
For more ideas on taking time for you, check out this old article “Break Time: 10 great ideas to help you relax at work.”