The more women I work with, the more I realize how many of us feel busy, stressed and overwhelmed with our lives. We know we should take care of ourselves, but we just don’t know how to find the time to do it. We want to have beautiful, thriving and harmonious relationships, but we often find ourselves taking out our frustrations on the ones we love the most.
It’s easy to get caught up in believing you don’t have time to take care of yourself. You’ve likely got work, family, homes to tend to, kids’ activities, social outings and a host of items on your to-do list that you never seem to get done.
Plus, most of us have been taught that self-sacrifice is noble - that we should put others’ needs in front of our own. The problem with that is that when we’re depleted, we’ve got nothing good left to give our loved ones. That’s when we find ourselves ignoring our spouse, snapping at our children and neglecting our bodies.
If this sounds familiar, it may be time for you to learn to create space. Space for you. Space for your relationships. Space for the things that matter most.
How do you do this? How do you fit more space into your already busy, overwhelmed life?
Here are 3 ways you can make more time for what’s most important to you.
1. Put some boundaries around your screen time. Like our kids, we can easily get sucked into our screens, which not only distracts us from the things that matter, but also wastes a ton of time!
Here are a few questions to consider when it comes to screens.
How much TV are you watching?
How much time do you spend on social media?
Are you constantly getting notifications on your phone that divert your attention away from what really matters in your life?
How much of your day is spent responding to emails?
Experiment with doing things differently. Cut out some mind-numbing TV and do something that fills you up instead. Set a timer for your social media time so that you’re conscious of how long you spend on it. Turn those notifications OFF! Check in when you WANT to, not when your phone dictates. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning if you can help it. Take a few minutes to ground yourself and set intentions for your day.
2. Take a good look at what you’re saying YES to. So many of us have a host of obligations that we get ourselves into because we either feel guilted into doing them, or we don’t know how to say no. These are the things that we actually have no desire to do, that drain our energy and add stress to our lives.
Here’s how to say no. First, pause. You don’t have to give an answer right away. Take time to connect with your inner self, your heart, and your body. Ask yourself these questions.
If you pay attention to your body, a yes will feel exciting, expansive and light. A no will feel like heaviness, constriction and dread. Give yourself permission to listen to your inner wisdom!
If you’re ready to say no, there’s no need to explain yourself. “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to do that” is a perfect response. Once you’ve said no, you can fill that time with anything you like that’s for you or your relationships. It may feel scary at first to say no, but give it a try. IT’S LIBERATING!
3. Be creative with your schedule. Take a look at your schedule and get curious about how you could change it. So many times, we spend time doing things that are either unnecessary or not efficient.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself.
Does this need to be done?
Does this need to be done now?
Does this need to be done by me? (If it doesn’t need to be done by you, by all means, ask for help!)
Is there a better time to do this?
Here’s an example of what I mean. I used to do laundry during the week when my kids were at school. The problem was that I felt like I was always doing laundry, and it took forever to put all the laundry away by myself! I decided to experiment with my schedule. Now, I do laundry on Sundays and my kids help put it away. I feel like I have so much more time during the week – and I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out! Some other common categories to rearrange or get help with are meal planning, shopping and preparing food. Can you get creative so that it saves you time? I’m loving ordering groceries in advance and picking them up.
The truth is that we all have ways that we can create more space for ourselves. We just need to make it a priority and commit to making it happen. When we build our schedules with time to nurture ourselves, everyone in our life benefits.
Ready to experiment? Pick one thing to change and give it a try. Make sure you fill the space you create with something that fills you up. Let me know how it works for you!
Love and light,