How to make time for you
Wake up. Late. No morning workout today. Do I have time to eat? Wow, my house is a mess. Was there anything due today? Oh no – what time is it? I’m so late. Yup. That's my usual morning routine. And it happens over and over. How many times has “time management” frequented my New Years resolutions you ask? Well let me tell ya… countless times.
Despite all this, I am not ashamed to say that time management isn’t something I have mastered quite yet. I am human after all. Fear not my friends, for my heart is after something else these days. Instead of beating myself up for what I didn’t do, I focus what I can do to put myself first. Amidst all the “to-do” lists, and commitments we make to others, we can often forget about our most cherished treasure. Ourselves.
It’s simple really. Make time for yourself each day. Easy right?
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Simple, yet powerful words from the awe-inspiring movie “The Help” that have always stuck with me. Here are some ideas on how you can make time for yourself each day.
Real comfy. When you get home at the end of a long day, just get comfy. You know how people say you shouldn’t wear shoes in the house? Messes up the Feng Shui or somethin’ like that? Well the reason for that is because, not only are we dragging ourselves through the door at the end of a long day, we are also dragging in toxins, dirt, and bacteria as well as the energy from our day. And it lingers – in our carpet, on our floors and on our bodies. To me, “outside clothes” have the same energy. They carry the essence of the day gone by – the stress, the rush, the chaos. There is something to be said for shedding that load, settling into your favourite oversized sweatshirt, and sinking into the evening with a smile on your face.
Need I say more? Gosh, even hearing the word makes me weak in the knees. Candles are just plain beautiful. Their soft flickering and animated movements can enchant you into a daze. But a happy daze. Add in a scented candle and you will be in bliss. Try to opt for soy candle or beeswax to avoid overexposure to toxins that are commonly in scented candles. My favourite candles are from Saje. They get me every time.
We don’t realize how much energy we expend when we are sitting in front of our computer screens or scrolling through our phones. Most screens emit blue light, which can disrupt our normal circadian rhythm and alter our sleeping patterns as well as hormone production. Let’s not forget about the often absurd positions we put our bodies in whilst we scroll through our instagram feeds, or check out or favourite celebrity’s most recent tweet.
Technology isn’t going anywhere. If anything, our reliance on technology is expanding. So, how about we switch things up a bit? Instead of letting technology control our lives and interactions, let’s take that control back. At the end of the night, even if it is just 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime, power off those electronics and tune into yourself. How was your day? How do you feel? Where is the tension sitting in your body?
One of my instructors at school likes to describe deep breathing as a massage for your vagus nerve. Let me explain. Simply put, your vagus nerve is the one in charge of your parasympathetic nervous system. As the longest cranial nerve in your body, it extends from the brain through your diaphragm and into your digestive system. When we are in “sympathetic overdrive”, as we most often are in today’s world, our vagus nerve gets a little less love, and shallow breathing becomes our crutch. When we take deep breaths, our diaphragm essentially massages our vagus nerve, sending signals back up to our brain to get our parasympathetic juices flowing.
Stretching is like deep breathing for your muscles. When we get caught up in our daily activities, our muscles pay the price. Throw in some quick stretches while you sit at your desk, or at the end of your day as you wind down for bed. For some a quick workplace “Chair Yoga” sequence, check out this blog.
We have all heard this one before haven’t we? I get it. We so easily get wrapped up in the rigmarole of daily life, that getting fresh air often falls to the bottom of the list. I encourage you to make this one a priority. Have you ever seen how excited our canine counterparts get when we say the “W” word? Maybe we could learn a thing or two from these oh-so-wise creatures. Our connection to nature is innate. It enlivens us to the depths of our being - all the way to our teeny, tiny cells. Even a couple minutes, or a quick lap around the block at lunch will do the trick – your body, mind and soul will thank you for it.
I know this seems like a lot, but perhaps try one or two things this week.
All in due time.
Note: This post first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse. See original post here.