Five Ways To Make Time For Yourself As A Busy Adult
Want to hear something ironic?
It’s all too common that the first thing that falls off our priority list when life gets hectic is ourselves. The funny thing is (read: not so funny), the flatter and more stretched thin we are, the less we have to give to others. Making time for yourself like it’s your job can go a long way for your well-being. Still, sometimes there are hurdles – like (unnecessary) feelings of guilt or selfishness or the needs of others pulling you in so many directions you’re simply following the strongest tug.
Here are five ways to include centring time for yourself amidst a busy schedule.
Cooking and eating
Everybody’s gotta eat! The phrase “I need to have something to eat, and then I’ll be ready” can often buy you some time, so feel free to use this as a social buffer when you need time to prepare a nourishing meal and fuel yourself for the event ahead.
No matter what you’re eating – something homemade or a cheap and greasy burger, grant yourself the time to experience and enjoy it. Even if it’s feeling the oil drip down your chin or tuning in with that bright burst of hydration from that slice of orange, feeling your fuel enter your body can be grounding and enjoyable – and something you can count on every day!
Whenever you do get the chance to cook, make an extra serving (or five) for the freezer. Your future even busier and hungrier self will thank you when you save 30 minutes and 30 dollars by defrosting a premade meal, especially for a work-day lunch.
When you have people relying on you or simply wanting the pleasure of your company, it can feel difficult to prioritise spending time alone rather than with them. This situation can be very nuanced; the reality for someone who lives alone will be different for a parent of a toddler or a guardian of ten people, or other lifestyles. No matter your circumstance, setting expectations with the people in your life can help you look after yourself and prevent feelings of ‘let down’.
The language you use will depend on with whom you’re communicating, but the sentiment can be giving someone a heads-up or setting a boundary. For example, if you’re a parent of teenagers, you can let them know in the morning that you’ve scheduled some time to go for a walk or take a bath after work – maybe you’ve prepared dinner already and it’s waiting in the fridge for them. Or, perhaps you have a standing movie night with a friend, but this week you just really need to do some laundry and go to bed early. Letting your friend know ahead of time can give them time to reshuffle their commitments, too.
Sometimes the thing that’s stopping us from taking time for ourselves or from enjoying it when we do is our mindset. You might benefit from reframing the idea of a ‘guilty pleasure’ to just a ‘pleasure’. As long as you’re leading a balanced life and communicating with those who need you, it’s okay to take time out on your own to purely do things you enjoy, though many people struggle to embrace this.
Set calendar reminders
If you often plan to take time out but rarely follow through, a reminder might help. If you’re a structured planner, work your downtime into your schedule and book it in like you would a meeting or your kid’s school play. If you’re more spontaneous, try chucking in a random solo-time calendar event on a night that sounds good and prioritise sticking to it when it pops up in your reminders or your physical diary.
Take RESCUE Remedy®, take a moment
The RESCUE Remedy® and RESCUE Sleep® formulas use flower essences to help you feel focused and calm throughout the day naturally or ready to switch off at night. Taking a dose of Dr Bach’s remedy is a great reminder to take a moment to breathe deeply and find your inner balance – try thinking of one thing you’re grateful for, or listing what you can see, hear, smell and feel through your senses to stay grounded and present.