Take Time for YOU!

Today people are suffering from a "lack of time."

In reality, we are all running ragged and most of us are not giving ourselves enough time to take care of and manage ourselves.

For many, this can lead to frustration and lack of motivation that brings us down and creates an endless battle of trying to accomplish everything for everyone else, except ourselves.

Feeling overtired, stressed out and starving for "me" time, we tend to drop to the couch and just zone out and watch television or other unproductive activities. Then, we feel bad because we didn't accomplish what we had planned for ourselves, whether it be exercise, reading, working on some health goals, etc.

Much like being mindful of what we are eating day to day, we need to practice being mindful of our actions as well.

We need to learn to read ourselves and manage our time so that at the end of the day, we can feel good about ourselves and our lives.

We can follow a plan and know that we are taking care of ourselves first.

We have all heard it many times, "you cannot be good for anyone else if you do not take care of yourself first." We all know that when we do take time for ourselves, to pursue our dreams and goals, relax, or even just do nothing at all, we feel much happier and healthier. This "me" time allows us to de-stress, relax and rejuvenate ourselves. It gives us a chance to recharge and heal and creates stores of energy and peacefulness.

Why don't we plan more "me" time? Well, there are three common reasons that we hear: "I don't have enough time", "I feel guilty', and "I feel selfish." Those that are more giving and caring tend to feel those feelings stronger than most. This lack of "me" time, however, leads us to feel frustrated, tired, overwhelmed, out of balance and with feelings of failure. Without "me" time, we tend to lose sight of what is important to us.

Here are some practical tips for you to use to practice being mindful in your daily activities and planning. Use these tips to begin working toward a well-managed life and feeling successes and motivation to accomplish your day to day tasks as well as your overall health improvement goals:

· Decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day. Stop feeling guilty for taking time out for you, and realize in the long run, it's a win-win for everyone. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best to all you must accomplish. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it's a necessary dimension of self-care!

· Decide how best to spend "me" time. How each of us chooses to spend free time is as individualized as we all are. If you had an extra 15 minutes, a half-hour, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list and keep it handy when you begin scheduling time into your calendar.

· Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check your emails constantly and end up spending more time on your computer than you planned? Do you answer personal calls in the middle of your workday? Run to the supermarket daily to pick up dinner rather than plan in advance and shop once? If this sounds like you, you must take the time to organize your responsibilities, and you will gain more free time than you can imagine.

· Learn to say "no." When requests come your way to do things that you don't really have time for presently, don't want to do, don't value or don't bring you satisfaction and joy, learn to say "no" politely but assertively.

· Ask for help. In dealing with chores that don't necessarily have to be completed by you alone, learn to ask for assistance, or delegate your tasks when able.

· At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including "me" time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it non-negotiable.

· Commit to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of "me" time every day. Do something (or nothing) that completely lets go of responsibilities and releases your mind, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.

· Create a daily ritual. This can be a bath, listening to music, taking a walk or meditating. Make it something you can look forward to.

· Stop wishing you had more time to yourself, and commit to carving it into your schedule. Rather than continually wish you had more time, change your approach and create the time using the tips above. You will be amazed at how a little bit of time to yourself can make a huge difference in your health and happiness!

I hope you have an awesome day!

Sources: Richardson, Cheryl. 1999. Take Time for Your Life: A Personal Coach's 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want, NY, Broadway Books. Article created on 8/2/2011


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Health and happiness,

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