How to find time in a busy world.
I’m pretty sure most of us could use more relaxation. However, it can be difficult to find time in our busy schedules for this; juggling work, family, home, etc. can definitely fill a calendar. At times, life can be completely overwhelming and even thinking about getting down time seems laughable. At other times though, life is little less harried. There is less to do; we have the time.
I’m convinced that more often than not, the time is there. Most weeks we have an hour for a yoga class, or 30 minutes for a walk, or 10 minutes to do a guided meditation, but we don’t do it. Instead, we often squander that time by deleting emails or scrolling through social media, which doesn’t feel like relaxation.
So how do we get relaxed with our busy schedules and our cell phone habits standing in the way?
- Schedule it in. I know, down-time seems like it shouldn’t be scheduled, like it ruins the whole idea of relaxing. However, if you book time for yourself the same way you book it with someone else, you are more likely to follow through. Also, if we wait until we just ‘find time’, we will most likely never get around to it. So go ahead and block out a few thirty minute blocks on next week’s calendar for relaxation- and plan what you will do during those breaks! Perhaps a pedicure? Reading an actual book? Lounging outside? Aaaaahhhhhh…. Just making this list caused me to take a deep breath.
- Tell yourself “It Matters”. Oftentimes when we have a 10-15 minute gap in between appointments or meetings we think of it as ‘lost time’ instead of using it for relaxation or joy. What if you used those blocks of time for deep breathing or stretching? Or perhaps walking outside around the building? 10-15 minutes of one of these activities definitely makes a difference in our mood, so instead of jumping into our phones and thinking 10-15 minutes won’t work or it doesn’t matter, tell yourself that “It Matters”. Because it does!
- Remind yourself that you’re worth it. We are not designed to work 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Most diseases are stress related and you won’t be your best self if you’ve exhausted all of your resources by never stopping to take a rest. Self-care is necessary. It can take whatever form you’d like. Pick whatever works for you and make it a habit. By committing to take some time for yourself, you are giving yourself and all of those who love you a gift. You are also setting an example for others, letting them know that they too, deserve some non-working, non-striving hours.
Your health and wellbeing are the result of many choices, made over a lifetime. So don’t stress if you miss one appointment with yourself, just commit to the next one and the one after that. Relaxation, like anything, can become a habit, and it is one you will be thrilled to have.
Julie Frumin, LFMT