Ways to create calm, even around a hectic schedule
Most of us are overloaded with responsibilities, in our life or work, or both.
So how do we find a balance? Too much work can be so exhausting you miss out on time with family and friends. Too much alone time becomes such a habit that the thought of going out doesn’t feel comfortable. And we haven’t even touched on fitness, cooking, cleaning, shopping..!
So here are some ways to plan time for yourself
1. Voicing Your Needs
Never easy, but so important. Telling people that you need time for yourself has often been labelled selfish instead of self care. So we need to change the way we think about ourselves as a priority. Value ourselves, because we are uniquely amazing.
If this seems a bit daunting, use a friend or colleague as an accountability partner. Someone who will encourage you to prioritise your needs.
2. Saying No
How often have you been a bit angry with yourself after saying yes to something that is too much right now ? But you said yes because it’s a client or colleague and didn’t feel you could turn them down.
That inner angry dialogue will plague the favour or job that you’ve agreed to do. And remember, your body reacts to your inner chatter. So it’s not just the thing you agreed to do that will stress you for time or energy, but also the physical reactions from your head to your toes.
Start small. Say no to the little things and your confidence to prioritise and negotiate will grow quickly.
3. Check Your Diary
Put some space around work and chores. Time that you can fill however you please. Look at what you feel is missing and these gaps could be home to your favourite activities or rest.
I have hours that I can’t work. Times that are not compatible with my energy levels or my physical and mental needs. It took me a long time to set these boundaries (and I don’t always get it right) but I guard them, and only in an emergency can they be overturned.
4. What’s Fit and Healthy for You
This needs to be enjoyable. Too many times we push ourselves so hard to run a certain distance, lose weight, eat better. All of which are good, in balance. You wouldn’t start running and set yourself a 5k first day. So be kind and ease into being more healthy.
One kindness is, on waking, asking yourself ‘what do I need today’. If you need rest, do simple stretches to get your body moving and listen to music or read. If only for a few minutes. And when you’re ready for that run or to create a good diet, let it be right for you.
5. Doing Nothing
An exercise in losing the distractions. No podcast. No social media. Just sitting and being. Start off gently. A few minutes to look out of the window. Watch the steam from a cup of tea. Listen to the birds.
Sit comfortably, let your eyes settle on something close to you, breathe normally. And listen. It’s magical.
6. Being Together
I found at the first sign of anxiety or overload, I would neglect telling my family and friends. It’s the very time that being surrounded by those you love is so comforting.
Which takes us back to ‘voicing our needs’. Remind yourself who is there for you. Get together, hug, laugh, cry. Don’t hold back. As soon as I let everyone in, I feel lighter, more connected and calmer.