The Sunday Blues are real. Many people experience anxiety when they think about the week ahead. The feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted is the perfect path to being burnt out and feeling like there’s not enough time to get things done and definitely no time to take for yourself.
Knowing what your true priorities are versus things that just take your time can be confusing. To remove the confusion, keep it simple and try this exercise. Take a moment and write down your daily priorities. For example, make sure the kids get to and from school safely, attend to work issues and tasks, cook dinner for your family, spend time with your spouse, etc. Now review your list.
Most people focus on their loved ones and make sure they are provided for and they are happy. But what about your own happiness and wellbeing? In order to give your best to your loved ones you have to feel your best. Taking care of yourself and ensuring you are happy and healthy means you can give so much more to others! Not having enough time is often what holds most people back from making themselves a priority. The reality is that with a busy lifestyle, you have to make the time.
Delegate or Eliminate
To make time for yourself, start with writing a list of everything you do in a day and include every single activity. Now review that list and see what activities are mandatory, which ones bring you joy, which ones you can delegate to someone else and those you can eliminate. In making a list of everything you do in a day, you might find certain activities take up your time without giving much back to you. For instance, how many times do you interrupt your focus by meaninglessly checking your phone or social media or immediately replying to an email? You can minimize this by setting out specific times in the day when you check your social media/email/phone. Once that time is up, you move onto the next task.
Maybe you feel rushed picking your kids up from school. Other parents might feel the same way! Why not try putting together a carpool pick-up/drop-off program to minimize the days you have to rush out. With a little strategy and commitment, you might find easier ways of doing things and save yourself some time while you’re at it!
The Subtle Art of Saying No
Making time for you means incorporating the practice of saying “no”. It may be difficult at first if you’re used to pleasing people but you’ll get the hang of it. Saying no to an event or meet-up doesn’t mean it’s not important to you, it means you would rather spend the time doing something that will benefit you more. It sounds selfish but it’s better to be a little selfish now than to burn out later. Start with saving one evening or morning a week for yourself where you set out at least one hour to do something for you. It could be reading a book at a café or maybe going to the gym or a yoga class. Restoring and rejuvenating yourself will allow you to give that much more of yourself to your loved ones. But yes, this means sometimes saying no!
The Sky Is Falling
At the end of the day you might get everything done or more than likely, there will still be 101 things you feel you still need to do. The fact is, if you set aside time for yourself to take a few breaths and refocus on what’s important, you will be able to keep trucking along without feeling as overwhelmed as before. Remember that even when it feels like the sky is falling it really isn’t… so take that hour and do something kind for you because the sky will always be there waiting to fall.