Between working hard, looking after your family and tackling a seemingly endless to-do list, making time for yourself can be difficult. However, the danger with always being on the go is that it can soon take its toll. The lack of sleep, stress and anxiety can have a serious effect on your mental health, and can also transfer to your physical health.
It’s not always easy to make time for yourself, but everyone deserves some rest and relaxation to get them back on track. Even if it seems impossible, there are some suggested ways to help you get some more ‘me time’ and take care of your mental health.
Making time for yourself
Take a look at the entire picture
It’s worth taking a long look at your schedule and facing up to the enormity of what you have going on from week to week. If those filled spaces start to make you feel concerned, look at ways you can cut things out. If you have appointments that take place every week, could they be made fortnightly or even monthly? As tough as it may seem, sometimes you need to sacrifice some things from your schedule to make sure you get plenty of downtime.
Think about what makes you happy
What would you like to do more of? Are there activities and pastimes you enjoy that you currently don’t have enough time for? Make yourself a list of the things you’d like to be able to do. Whether it’s taking the time to read, go to the gym or even just catching up on your favourite TV programmes, make sure it all goes on the list so that you can try to find the time to do more of what you love.
Does your list of household duties prevent you from making time for yourself? Is your household doing their fair share of the different tasks? If not, it’s time for some changes. Could your other half pick the kids up from their different classes or from school? Could you share lift duties with another parent to football practice, etc on a Saturday morning? If there are tasks in your life that can be easily done by someone else, get them on board – you’ll be surprised at how much time you can free up through some simple delegation.
Learn to say ‘no’
Saying no is never easy, particularly if you’re afraid of letting people down. However, for the sake of your sanity, you need to start saying no. If you’re already short on time for yourself, then your schedule is too full to accept anything else. Keep space for a couple of fun social engagements each month, but limit yourself so that you can keep some free time to yourself.
Be more organised
It’s no surprise that organised people have more time on their hands. They know how to prioritise tasks, how to speed up processes and make the most of the time they have. There are some simple ways to be more organised, including getting into the habit of writing things down. Simple alterations to your routine such as having your grocery shop delivered or carrying out tasks during your lunch break can save you time that could be better spent doing things you enjoy instead. Help make more time for yourself by becoming more organised.
Get up earlier
This might not be a popular suggestion, but getting up earlier could help you find some of that quiet time that you need. Getting up an hour earlier could help you find time to exercise, to read or simply just to take some time to process things that are happening during the day. Getting up earlier means going to bed earlier, so you might need to change your sleeping habits so that you can get the rest you need.
Not getting enough rest or time to yourself can start to trigger anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions that can exacerbate your problems. The NHS Moodzone pages are a great place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you should speak to your GP if you feel that your issues are worsening. For any out of hours health concerns, be sure to call 111 to speak to an advisor.
Taking some more me-time is important, and will help you to focus on your personal health and fitness. As a key part of self-care, this is one thing you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy – so start by doing something for yourself today.