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ME TIME: 7 WAYS TO MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Do you find yourself vowing at the start of a new week that you will carve out some me time, but by the end of each day you’ve managed precisely zero minutes?!
Or do you perhaps find yourself staying up later than you would like, because the only way to get any time to yourself is to cram it in at the end of the day, no matter how tired you are?
And of course the pay off for going to bed late is that you wake up tired and have to drag yourself through the next day.
So it’s kind of counter-productive and doesn’t even feel worth having done it?
Yes, I’ve been there too, particularly when I was in the first couple of years of parenting.
If this is all ringing true for you, you need to start making some changes that allow you to create time for yourself, because me time is incredibly important for your health and wellbeing.
YOU NEED TO REFRAME ME TIME: ME TIME IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR WELLBEING
Let me say that again… me time is incredibly important for your health and wellbeing.
Time to yourself is the breathing space that you need to recalibrate.
It’s the punctuation points you create for yourself in an often hectic life, where you get to do something just for you, just because you want to.
Taking time for yourself is you taking charge of your health and wellbeing.
It will help counteract overwhelm, reduce your stress levels and if you find a way to take some time for yourself without cramming it in at the end of a busy day, me time has the power to ultimately give you more energy and be more productive.
And in case the thought of me time is giving you a dose of the guilts, just remember that the importance of having time to yourself is particularly important for women who are busy parenting, working and running a family household.
Important, but often scarce and if this is true for you, you need to reframe me time in your mind.
One way to reframe it is to think of that well worn motto…
happy mother, happy baby…
Interchange baby for child or family and hopefully it’s now plain to see that more than just owing it to yourself to create some me time, you owe it to your kids, to your family!!
So stop any niggling worries you have that taking some time for yourself is selfish and instead focus on how those around you benefit from you being mentally, physically and emotionally well.
There you go! Guilt assuaged!!
HOW TO MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
So now we’ve established that me time is incredibly important, how do you go about making some time for yourself when to date you haven’t got very far?
Well, I’ve put together some simple life hacks for cutting through the daily clutter to carve out some time for yourself.
There are simple hacks that I find really work for me and I really do believe that they will work for you.
So try them and discover just how to carve out some time for yourself each day.
ME TIME HACKS: 7 SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE MORE TIME FOR YOURSELF
1. RATION YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA – IT’S THE ULTIMATE ME TIME KILLER
Let’s start off by getting realistic about what quality me-time isn’t.
Quality me-time isn’t scrolling endlessly through social media.
Social Media is a me-time
Yes it’s nice to look at lovely pictures on Instagram and check out the latest gossip on Facebook.
But it’s a total time-suck and often leaves you feeling more stimulated than relaxed.
And yet it is so tempting to reach for your mobile when you sit down for a moment.
I find myself especially drawn to it when I’m feeling tired and stressed. It feels like a mindless distraction, but actually it’s time and energy sapping and if I’m honest with myself, I feel a little zombie-like if I’ve sat a scrolled rather than done something more relaxing.
If you find yourself on social media several times a day and are sitting here wondering how on earth you can change your social media habit, take a look at my post on how to do a digital detox to get yourself started.
2. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR TIME
If you have eight hours sleep per night (a woman can dream!!) then there are 16 waking hours in each day.
Bear this in mind when planning your time.
Prioritise the tasks and activities and be realistic about what you can actually achieve in a day.
To help priorities you can break things down into priority categories. For example:
- The basics – the school run, making meals, work, kids homework
- The urgent – stuff that can’t be put off and will gnaw away at you until you’ve done it
- The rest – stuff that needs doing and can be scheduled in over the coming days
3. KNOW THE RHYTHM OF YOUR DAY
Work out the best time of day for you to focus on stuff that needs your maximum focus and brain bandwidth.
Then work out the best time to focus on more physical chores and tasks.
Also take a look at when you are needed to be in parenting mode and in what capacity – helping with homework, facilitating activities, just simply being there and spending quality time with your family.
Take a good honest look at how your body clock functions, are you an early bird or a night owl?
How many hours sleep do you need to feel refreshed and ready to take on the day?
It’s well worth setting up a simple morning routine that sets the tone for your day, if you’ve never thought much about how you put together your mornings, take a look at my guide to creating a morning routine that works for you and helps you jumpstart your day.
It’s also great to start your day with a morning affirmation. Read how I got started with my morning affirmation and how it has positively impacted my life.
Once you work out rhythm that suits you, you will find your productivity levels shoot right up, which in turn frees up time for me time.
4. MULTITASK BORING CHORES
Now I am a HUGE believer in NOT multitasking. So much so that I have a post on the benefits of not multitasking when you’re working.
When it comes to getting chores done and out of the way fast, I believe in multitasking all the way!
Here are some examples – inspiration if you will – for multitasking your way through repetitive chores:
- Boiling the kettle – load or unload the dishwasher
- Coming downstairs to make breakfast, grab a load of washing and
- shove it in the machine
- Overseeing homework – chop the veg for supper and be on hand to
- answer homework questions
I also believe in sharing the load and delegating – see hack number seven for more details!!
5. GROCERY SHOP ONLINE
I’ve been doing my supermarket shop online for eleven years and nothing would induce me to ever go back to doing a weekly grocery shop in an actual supermarket.
My weekly shop takes way less than an hour or my time each week, I have a weekly slot scheduled and I add items via the mobile App through the week and the delivery guy brings the heavy bags right into my kitchen.
I so wholeheartedly believe in the time-saving benefits of grocery shopping online that I include it – and the next hack – in my post on the best hacks for working mums.
6. MEAL PLAN HEALTHY 30 MINUTE EVENING MEALS
I’m a complete meal planning convert.
I plan our family meals on a weekly basis and I focus on planning in healthy meals that take no more than 30 minutes from prep to table.
I find that meal planning cuts out last minute grocery dashes, cuts down on cooking hours and reduces the strain on my brain bandwidth just at the time of day when I’m ready to collapse.
I use Trello for meal planning and whilst I am in charge of planning my family’s meals for the week, my husband and I share responsibility for cooking the evening meal.
7. DELEGATE AND SHARE THE LOAD
As I mentioned in the last hack, my husband and I share responsibility for cooking the evening meal. We also share responsibility for everything that needs doing in our family household.
We both work and we both believe it’s important to support each other and our family by both doing our share of whatever needs doing.
We rely on a simple family command centre that I set up on the free project management platform Trello to keep on track with household chores, meal planning and the general family admin of family life.
Now our daughter is a fully-fledged tween she’s also included in our family command centre.
Having a system for keeping everyone in the loop goes a long way to making sure that everyone who is capable does their bit.
Which means that you don’t find yourself doing the lion share.
Which means you will have more time in the day for me time!
If you’ve never had a centralised family command centre, it’s well worth taking the time to create one. I’ve put some simple tips on how to get started using Trello to get your family more organised.
I really hope you’ve found these hacks thought provoking and that you’ll try at least some of them, starting today, to find a way to make time for yourself.
If you’re still finding it hard to justify creating more time for yourself, why not take a look at my big list of me time idea to tempt you into it!
Me time is so important for your health and wellbeing, so don’t waste anytime, get started making the changes you need to make!
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.