Looking back on my life I’ve always tried to make everyone happy. I call it suffering from the “Pleasing everyone but myself” disease. Even before having children I’ve always felt the need to please and put myself last when it came to scheduling, making time and prioritizing. Years gone by and before I knew it I was a Mother of 4, Fiancée, friend, advisor, student, counselor, inspirer, employee and sales rep; all full time obligations! It started to feel like a never ending story! Every week it was the same ole thing over and over again.
Granted I love every detail of my life, I realized I was being buried under the pavement and life was trampling over me! I felt like Mairo Akpose-Simpson when she wrote the article “I told my Husband I want a Wife!”. I started thinking, there has got to be a way to prioritize my life so that I have time for me. The need for me time is so essential. Not wanting to seem too selfish, but taking time for yourself allows you to display a more pleasant you to others so in actuality everyone wins.
Not knowing how to really start this new “Me Time” thing, I looked up some interesting sites and came across one that seemed to match my situation. It’s called “10 Ways to make more time for yourself-Start today”, that was right up my alley! Allow me to share with you some of their advice and I’ll explain how it helped me in my situation.
- Set a schedule for yourself and do your best to stick to it: After sitting down and sketching out my day, I realized how much “slice time” I had to play with. Giving me the opportunity to take those extra 15-20 mins of unmanaged time and apply them to quite time for myself. Like for instance preparing meals prior to the day of so that I’m not rushing home to get dinner fixed. Or getting up a little bit earlier to mentally prepare for my day instead of racing the clock and running my day out like a marathon.
- Live “off-peak”: Normally I would try to do grocery shopping right after work which is the typical thing for working parents. Get in the store with the kids and they are going crazy because they’re hungry and tired and it turns me into Momzilla!lol Instead, I’ve found that it’s best to hit the store either before work or during my lunch break. The early morning shopping is not as hectic and the stock is nice and full.
- Embrace the kitchen timer and the caller id: Now this one I found hilarious. They are telling you to set your kitchen timer for 10 or 15 minutes, however long you plan on being on the phone and once the timer goes off the conversation ends! Well I’m not really a phone person I’m more of a texter, so with this scenario I just decided to convert to phone instead of texting to avoid a carried on conversation. So that way I will feel comfortable turning my phone off and knowing I didn’t leave a conversation out in the air.
- Using public transit: Yes, now this I can appreciate. During your commute there are so many things you can do. You can catch up on reading , ease your mind with soothing inspirational music, plan for your day/write out to do list or just take a moment to observe the different people and their lifestyles. Having that time to clear your mind and get organized could be a great jump start to your work day!
- Group “like” tasks: Although this seems very simple, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve found myself going to the same area 2 and 3 times a week to go to different stores. So I took heed to their advice and started grouping like activities together to save more time. If I have 4 people I need to call I will take time during my lunch break to call them (making sure to leave messages if they don’t answer so they know I called). Eliminating moment by moment tasks and planning ahead could add 15-20 mins to your busy day.
- Declare some ME time: Pick a day or a few hours and dedicate that time solely to yourself. If you have children get a babysitter for this time frame because there is no such thing as “me time” when the kiddies are home. Focus on relaxing yourself, not working! A lot of people utilize their “me time” to catch up on work or household duties, no, this time should be used to show how much you appreciate yourself. I read an article called “Lack Of Sleep Increases Stroke Risk”, so even if you choose to take this time and catch up on rest that’s totally fine. It doesn’t make you lazy or less productive, it makes you smart!
Love Yourself First Everyday… it’s not just a statement, it’s a Lifestyle!