This is a short blog post, because if you don’t have enough time to yourself then you are way too busy to spend more than 5 minutes reading right now.
1. Prioritise. Run through a list of 10 things you need to do today or this week or this month. These are goals you need to accomplish or things you want to achieve. NOW look again, but this time, pay attention to whether any self-care is on the list. Is it a priority to get 8hrs of sleep at least every other night? Maybe not – but think how much easier it’d be to get stuff done if you felt well-rested and had a nice clear head. Get the sleep on your list, somewhere near the top. The same goes for eating nutritious foods, and drinking enough non-alcoholic liquid. Set a minimum requirement for yourself, and stick to it.
2. Compromise. If the problem if that you have plenty of time, but none of it is by yourself, then it’s time to take a mental step forward in terms of activities you consider ‘you’ time. Too much on at work? See if you can drop two or three small jobs in favour of taking on one bigger project, which will give you a sense of ownership and control. Always driving people somewhere? Set a new rule that while your passengers can talk in the car, you’d prefer not to talk while driving.
3. Get honest. It’s time to figure out whether you really don’t have enough time to yourself, or whether you’re just saying that because you aren’t using the time you have effectively. If you are flitting from one task to the next without finishing anything, or if you are constantly attached to your mobile phone, then it may have interesting results to have a complete change of strategy, or to leave your phone in your bag for a day – see what else changes.
4. Ask for help. It’s so simple, I should have probably put it at number 1. Who can you ask for help? How likely are they to say yes? Are there any good reasons to avoid asking them for help? No? Then step away from your screen, and go and ask them right now, while it’s on your mind. Asking for help has a twofold function – not only does it enable you to get more done or carve out that vital time just for you – but it also helps with social bonding, as our friends and family members will often feel pleased that they have been asked to help – it makes them feel needed, trusted, and reliable.
5. HIDE. When all else fails, leave your phone out of reach, lock the door, and hide in the bathroom for an extra 3-5 minutes. Give yourself permission to have a very short respite – say as long as it takes you to count to 200. Then, you’ll dive back into the real world again. Use that time to focus being AWAY – away from your family, or away from work, or away from whatever stress you are facing. It’ll probably still be there when you emergy 200 seconds later.
BONUS POINT – 6 : Learn self-hypnosis. As you’re reading this, you probably know that hypnosis helps people to relax, but did you know that like anything, the more often you practice it, the quicker and easier it becomes? It’s not only possible to be able to put yourself in a trance within just one minute, but if you practice frequently, that’s also the inevitable and very common outcome. You may not have more time, but you’ll know exactly how to use it to help yourself.