Dear Leah Renee,
I’m feel like I stretch myself thin between picking the kids up from school and taking them to their after school sports, making dinner, and just everything else that happens every day. Is there a way to not feel so overwhelmed? ~Alex, NJ
We live in a very busy time. People juggle jobs, kids, relationships, housework, social life, traffic, fitness, social media, and time to enjoy a meal. Where does that leave you? Exhausted! I felt the anxiety building just writing that. It’s common to think we simply don’t have time–maybe you’re even reading this on your cell phone waiting for your meeting to start.
Every single one of us is worthy of having time to ourselves, and what you choose to do with that time is entirely up to you. Whatever makes you feel relaxed, alive, and present in the moment. It’s counter-productive to have time to yourself and spend it thinking about what you need to do next.
Why should I?!
- You’ll be happier. By devoting time to yourself, you can more willingly devote your time to others.
- You’ll be healthier. Ever finished an entire carton of ice cream because you were sad? Yeah, me too. But that’s not really going to solve anything even though it tastes good (like, really good) momentarily. Your mind and gut are entirely connected (here’s a post on that) and when you have a healthy mind, your diet is easier to keep on track.
- You’ll be less stressed. Stress raises cortisol levels which effect insulin levels… which regulates blood sugar levels… which relates to hunger levels…sorry I’m probably stressing you out now. Basically, scheduling “me” time will give you peace and that means you won’t have to think about all those levels I just mentioned.
- You’re family and friends will love it. The happier you are, the happier they are. If you’ve ever been in the company of someone in a bad mood, it’s tough not to feel down too. Same goes for one who’s happy. Happiness is contagious, and they’ll all feel it and join you. And trust me, your happiness is important to them.
How will I?!
- Ask for help. People are more helpful than I think we give others credit for. People like vulnerability. It shows that you feel you can count on them, and they’re probably over there thinking they need to juggle everything too!
- Prioritize. Sometimes there are certain tasks or appointments we know we need to schedule, but not always immediately. Prioritizing the urgency of our events will really help. If you’re feeling really stressed, you know you must pencil yourself in asap. It’s amazing what we have time for in an emergency. It all gets put in perspective in those moments, so
- Schedule. Mark your calendar…for you. Yes. Go on a date with yourself. It’s cool if you’re in a relationship, I’m sure your other half won’t feel like you’re cheating. You may just realize you’re really fun. This is good for a couple other reasons: if you are in a relationship you will see what they see in you–why they choose to be with you. If you’re single, this is great because you will find peace in your own company, and see why others should want to sign up to join you!
- No guilt. For all the reasons above, you will get through this. You can spend time with yourself guilt-free, because others rely on it and you’re happier and healthier for it.
So go explore that one thing you’ve wanted to try with your time. That could be meditating for 15 minutes a day. Maybe it’s a yoga class. Maybe it’s reading one chapter of a book you have been wanting to read or even going to see that movie that just came out–solo. Whatever it is, you’re worth it!
What’s your favorite way to spend “me” time?