Are you struggling to find time for yourself, to do what you enjoy?
You’re feeling overwhelmed and like you’re beholden to your calendar appointments and schedule. It’s got to a point where you now feel exhausted, frustrated and depleted because everyone else seems to be getting the best of you but you’re left with nothing for yourself.
Or maybe you feel guilty about taking some time out and not spending it with the kids.
Well remember, that having ‘me time’ isn’t you being selfish; it’s about making your ‘self-full’. So, before you run yourself into the ground, here are some quick things you can do to carve out some ‘me time’.
Step 1: Schedule ‘Me-Time’!
The same way you entered all of those outside commitments into your calendar, is the same way you need to make time for yourself and your inner needs.
Most women want to feel happier, more fulfilled, relaxed and focused because they know they’re much more pleasant women, wives, friends, colleagues and mothers, when they are meeting their own needs first. When your own cup is filled, you are happy to share some of the overflow with others. When it’s not filled with self-love, attention and nurturing, you’ll resent those people and activities which want to drink from your cup, because you already feel limited in what you can give.
Remember, what you value, gets done. So if you value yourself, then enjoy your own company and schedule some ‘me time’.
Step 2: Clarify what it is you want to feel and how you’ll benefit from it.
Saying you want ‘me-time’ sometimes isn’t enough. I’ve seen women get some time to themselves and then have absolutely no idea what to do with it and they end up spending 2 hours going down a social media wormhole and not feeling restored, nourished, loved or content, at the end of it.
It’s important to clarify what you need from today’s or this week’s me time, so you can choose an activity which is appropriate to fulfilling that need. For eg, if you feel like you want to escape from the every day doldrums, routine and monotony and you want to feel some excitement and variety because it’ll give you some inspiration and get up and go again, you might go and see a movie for a bit of escapism or try a brand new class, which is different to your routine.
Or if you feel like you need to relax, you might plan a luxurious bath, with music and candles or book in a massage, so that your body can unwind, rest and restore itself and you once again feel grounded and whole.
This would be very different ‘me time’ to someone who wants to jump start their body after a week of lazing around and they want to regain their zest for life and their energy, so they can be more driven and productive, and they decide to go for a scenic run, a challenging hike or join a salsa class.
Clarify the emotional state you want to feel and then choose an activity appropriate to creating that state.
Do you want the time to play a team sport every week, go to the gym, read a book in a quiet space, socialise and have coffee with friends? Write down what you want to have more of and why you want it or need it.
My focus this year is to be more grounded at home and spend time enjoying my home and garden with family and friends. This decision came about after a year of ongoing travel, neglecting the house, not enjoying time in our space and not seeing friends as much, because we were on the road most weekends. We’ve now scheduled in social visits, play dates, gardening days, reno days and time to just chill out and relax in our home. We’re all the better for it.
Step 3: Get Support
If you have the support and encouragement of your family, organising ‘me time’ becomes 10x easier. I know I’ve got the support of my family, which I need, in order to juggle tasks, duties, work, kids etc. Hubby and I have set nights for our own hobbies and interests, whilst the other is home with the kids. When we plan dates, the grandparents, aunt and friends are on call.
The reality is that you may need some help and support to go and do what you want to do, so ask for it. You’re not being selfish or imposing or annoying, in doing this for yourself.
In fact, if you constantly see it as being selfish, are you stuck in a ‘victim’ mindset? Are you enabling the situation by creating a ‘woe is me’ scenario, ‘no-one will help me’ belief, which allows you to become a bit of a Mama Martyr? This is ‘victim’ based thinking and you will struggle to create any change in your life from this level of thinking.
Families weren’t meant to be raised in isolation of everyone else around them, so use your village for support.
You know that creating moments and a space where you can fulfil your own needs and do other things outside of the family, that make you happy, will result in a much happier and calmer mum and more settled, fulfilled and content family, home and work environment. Your energy flows on to others.
Remember, things won’t change unless you do!
Value your own needs and make time to meet them accordingly. Ask for help, voice what you desire and why you need it. There are countless benefits to you and your family, in you making time for your own interests and pursuits. The more you say yes to what you need and show yourself respect and value your time, the more others will respect the boundaries you are creating and will respect your needs too.
Sometimes all it takes is to start small and create one change. This week think about how you can make ‘me time’ a priority and do something just for you, that will bring a smile to your face.
PS: Do you need to carve out some ‘me-time’ for self-reflection and to rediscover the amazing woman within (Remember her? The lady who has been in hibernation since you had kids?) Then get my FREE guide here, which will walk you through the self-discovery process.