It can feel extremely stressful to try to squeeze in meditation or relaxation time into your busy schedule. Making time for self-care can feel selfish. Or feel like a laughable joke of “who has the time?” You know that rest and relaxation is important for good health. But you may be thinking, “I have a family to care for, a business to run, and meetings to attend. How in the world am I going to find time for the luxury of rest and relaxation?”
The honest truth is that to find time to you have to create time, which means letting go of the nonessential. Creating time is about evaluating what is most important and letting go of the rest. Dr. Alan Christianson, NMD in his book “The Adrenal Reset Diet” details a simple three step process for creating some self-care time.
The Priorities Game: What Really Matters?
Step 1: Sit down and write down a list of your top-ten time commitments. Think of any extra things you do for work, on social media, with outside clubs or organizations you assist, or charities, activities, or social obligations. Write down the first ten that come to mind.
Step 2: Imagine that whoever is closest to you just had a health scare. You know for sure the person will be fine, but needs you by their side for two hours per day for the next two months. Which seven obligations could you cross off your list to be there?
Step 3: Most of us would do more for a loved one than we would for ourselves. Instead of crossing off seven obligations, cross five off your original list. You have just cut half of your obligations and freed up two hours per day for rest and personal care.
Surprisingly when you take time out to care and nurture for yourself you fill your well, thus generating more energy, attention, and productivity to give to others. It might sound counter-intuitive, but to give more to others, you must give to yourself. So now go take that hot bubble bath, read your pleasure novel, get your hair done, or go for a walk in nature. Do something every day just for you. Do something that gives you joy and pleasure. And if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children, spouse, work, or whomever it motivates you to give more to. Taking care of you is a gift not only to yourself, but to others as well.
Find more stress-reducing tips in my book “Holiday Peace and Joy: Your Guide For a Happy Holiday” available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and your favorite online bookstore.
Carolyn Flynn, LPC
Carolyn Flynn, LPC holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with additional studies in Nutrition and Holistic Health. She provides a unique blend of mind-body solutions to create health, happiness, and loving relationships. She is a strategist, problem-solver, and intuitive guide. She believes every woman deserves to feel beautiful, serene, and happy. She is committed to helping women create lives they love. She is the author of SMART Talk, Heal Your Grief, and Holiday Peace and Joy.
Help prevent depression by doing something to make someone happy. It doesn’t take much to share a smile, a friendly hello, a plate of cookies, a cup of coffee, lunch, or interesting conversation. And don’t forget to take the time to do something that makes you happy. Happy people make others happy so start by taking care of yourself and then spread the happiness to others.
– Carolyn Flynn