It’s SOOO easy to get caught up in the demands of everyday life – working extra hours to meet a deadline, rushing to get the kids off to school and activities, keeping up with household chores, and if there’s any time or energy left, a social life. But the madness must stop! Taking time for yourself is SUPER important to not only your health, but also your mental wellbeing. Ever notice you get sick at the worst time – when you are uber busy? If you don’t have your health, you can’t run a strong business or do your best work.
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Let’s start with a simple task. Look at your calendar right now. How many of those appointments, meetings, etc. are dictated by others – coworkers, bosses, or family members? Could it be that every time you add a new task or meeting into your schedule, you’re sacrificing your productivity by handing control of your day over to other people? Of course, compromise is essential when it comes to structuring your day, BUT you can’t sacrifice your “me” time.
Did you know “me” time helps you do the following:
- Reboot your brain
- Help you unwind
- Deep thinking
- Improves concentration
- Helps with problem-solving
- Makes you more productive
- Helps with relationships
Here’s some important tips to keep you, your health, and your “me” time in check!
- Be Realistic. Set goals and work to achieve them. Don’t set goals that are unrealistic and unattainable, it’ unhealthy and stressful. Set larger goals as stages so you show progress.
- Figure Out Your Schedule. What are you doing that you don’t need to do? What can you outsource? What can you cut back on? You can’t create more “me” time without understanding how to get it and what you are doing on the daily to eat up your free time. What are non-negotiables – sleep, gym time, kid pick up, etc. Block those into your schedule now so others can’t take up that time.
- Try Meditation or Just Being. These can help manage stress and improve your mental health. Morning, night, or during a stressful time are all great times to take a break and center yourself.
- Implement and Keep Healthy Habits. This means eating good food, limiting your coffee or soda intake, and even making sure you take the time to eat and drink water when you are busy. Avoid reaching for a candy bar at 2 pm as a pick me up and eat some fruit and nuts instead! Also, get into an exercise routine. Walks in the morning or at night, going to the gym, or even doing a workout video at home – whatever you like doing, do it. Keeping your body in shape will do wonders for your mental health too!
- Take Breaks. Seems counterproductive if you are busy but trust me, it works. It can keep you focused, help you retain info, and prevent frustration. And you should NOT feel guilty for taking a break – you deserve it! Take that lunch break, get up, move around, leave the office – for a few minutes, just unplug from what you are doing.
- Get a Hobby. Doing the same thing over and over is boring – even if your work varies from day to day, you’re probably still repeating the same schedule. Find something creative to do as a hobby to break out of the rut. Painting, knitting, drawing, reading, even listening to music can help recharge and refresh your brain. Make a list of things you want to do or try and pick 1 or 2 and do them. You might love it, you might hate it, but you won’t know unless you try.
- Work/Life Balance. This one is a hard one. When you clock out for the day, leave your work behind. Stop checking emails at 8 pm when it’s bedtime for the kids, or time when you should be hanging out with a spouse. Being a workaholic and constantly connected is detrimental to your mental health.
- Make a Change. If you are on the verge of a burnout, and you don’t like how you feel, make a change. It doesn’t even have to be a big change, but if certain aspects of your workday are draining you, see how you can improve on it. Remember, you aren’t stuck in your job forever. Find a new one, start your own business, you have options! You need to be happy with what you do for 40+ hours a week.
No matter what you do for a living, don’t neglect your mental health in favor of a job or a career. You and your mental health are more important than any job. The more time you make for yourself and what you want to do, the happier you will be.