Do you ever feel like everyone else needs so much from you that you rarely have time for yourself?

Does taking time for yourself often feel like a far off dream, considering all of your responsibilities and obligations? Do you find yourself struggling to find even 20 minutes to devote to yourself?

When new clients come to me, this is often one of the first challenges we tackle.

Despite loads of cultural conditioning, especially for women, taking time for yourself is necessary to achieving work-life balance and living a life that is both fulfilling and sustaining.

You are important, and you deserve to take good care of yourself.

If taking time for yourself is something you know you need, but you can’t quite figure out how to access, try implementing these three key steps. My clients find these steps indispensable on the quest for taking time for yourself.

Step One: Make yourself the priority.

Most of my clients are busy moms or people with careers they love but which require a ton of time and energy.  They often find that there is something deeply vulnerable about taking time for themselves, and they feel guilty when they take time away from something else that is important to them. The first step, therefore, to taking the time to yourself, is to know that you are just as important as anyone else. To take time for yourself, you must occasionally make yourself the priority.

Step Two: Devote time to yourself in your schedule.

Honor your energy levels and other responsibilities and plan accordingly, being mindful of whether a morning, midday or evening time works best for you.  Make this a regular time that you can count on, one that fits into the rhythm and structure of your week.  Arrange to receive the support you need to make taking time for yourself a reality, including setting up childcare or delegating tasks that someone else can handle.

Of course, if you have a child with a fever or another emergency, you may need to reschedule.  But for anything short of that, know that if someone else’s needs come up, they can either attend to them on their own, or you can support them when you return from your time by yourself.

Step Three: Honor your doubts.

Taking time for yourself can bring up feelings of self-doubt.  Rather than making these feelings wrong, listen to them.  Behind every doubt, there is a positive intention.  You may discover an old story that says you need to put everyone else first to be loved—a story that deserves attention and healing.  You may discover that there’s something you need to take care of or a conversation you need to have to make your time for yourself even more easeful and beneficial.  Or, you may simply discover that it feels uncomfortable to step into the unknown, not knowing what taking time for yourself will feel like or what you will do with your time.

The key is to treat your doubts with compassion, without allowing them to stop you from taking time for yourself.  When you do this, you can show up for yourself with even greater presence and engage more deeply with family and friends.

Finally, for moms: Go outside of the house.

If you’re a mom (and sometimes, even if you’re not), I strongly recommend taking time for yourself outside of your house. When you’re at a coffee shop or in nature, you simply can’t do housework or be distracted by children or feel compelled to tackle a more immediate task.  You may find that being at home is the most relaxing place to be, but if it’s not, I encourage you to venture out and discover a new, cozy spot that makes taking time for yourself the luxurious treat that it deserves to be. Grab your journal, and reflect on these five questions to help get clear on what’s most important right now.

If you want to get support learning how to take time for yourself, apply for a free Discovery Session today! We’ll get clear on your next steps to creating the life you desire and deserve.

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