In today's busy world, it's easy to put everyone else first. With the demands of work and family, it might feel that there's not much time left over for you. Perhaps you even feel guilty about taking time for yourself – after all, shouldn't you be spending that time with your kids, or your spouse, or your in-laws?
We all need time to rest and recharge. If life feels so busy that you're convinced you can't manage to have a few hours for yourself, then it's especially crucial that you carve out some "me time". Here's why:
You Need to Take Care of Your HealthIf you run yourself into the ground, you're not going to be much help to the people around you.
That might seem a rather cold way to look at things – but if you're struggling to justify your daily meditation practice, your exercising, your book club, or whatever it might be, then you need to remind yourself that your health is vital.
Good physical and mental health requires upkeep of your body, mind and soul. That might mean:
- Body: Jog for 30 minutes, three times a week
- Mind: Read a book during your lunch hours
- Soul: Go to a religious service (or other act of worship) regularly
You Want Space to Breathe and ThinkIf your life is starting to feel like a treadmill, it's time to hit the stop button.
When you're in the thick of things, it's hard to get much perspective. Perhaps you're struggling with a particular decision – like a choice of career paths, or the opportunity to take an important qualification. It can be all too easy to put off decisions or make hasty choices if you don't take the time to stop and think.
If you're engaged in any creative activity – writing, designing, computer programming, running a business – then this down-time is vital. You need to be able to get away from the constant busyness in order to do the best work that you're capable of.
To get space, you could:
- Go out to a coffee shop on your own for a couple of hours
- Take a long walk in the countryside
- Book a weekend's retreat, away from everyday life
You Are Important TooSometimes, we put other people first because we're secretly convinced that they're more important, or more needy, than us. We downplay our own needs in order to help them.
Perhaps you've got a relative who's ill, or a friend who's facing huge struggles in his life. By all means help them – but don't forget that you are important too. Don't pour all of your energy into doing things for others at the expense of taking care of yourself.
You might need to get back in touch with your own needs and desires:
- Write in a journal for 5 minutes every day, and look for patterns emerging
- Make a list of goals that you'd like to accomplish over the next 1, 3 and 5 years
- Join a local group (or an online forum) that's devoted to a particular hobby or goal of yours
However busy you are, you can find time for yourself – even if you have to start with just a few minutes each day, or an hour or two every weekend. What could you do this week to make more breathing space in your life?