Time for you: why you need to take care of yourself

Time for you_ why you need to take care of yourself

Do you spend your days spinning lots of plates?  I know I do.  Right now I’m typing this glancing at the clock to make sure I leave for the school run on time.

Whether you’re self-employed or working for someone else, life is always going to be a juggling act in one way or another.  You might find yourself rushing to finish a piece of work before you have to dash off to catch a train, pick up the kids or make sure you’re not late meeting friends.

If you don’t have to leave work at a specific time it can be easy to stay a bit longer to get something done.  Back when I was a solicitor I had colleagues who would be stay late simply because their manager was.

Once you’ve added a partner, family, children, friends and a house into the mix your need for time to yourself can easily get pushed to the back of the queue.

You need time out

No matter who you are or what commitments you have, sometimes you need to stop and think of yourself.

If you’re frantically rushing from one task to the next before collapsing into an exhausted heap at bedtime, you’re not helping anyone.  The quality of your work will suffer, you’ll be grumpy with your loved ones and ultimately you’ll just be unhappy.

Your physical health

We work in increasingly sedentary environments where we’ll hunch over a computer and spend all day sitting down.  You might then go home and spend your evening in front of the TV.

You’ve probably heard the advice about getting some exercise a million times, but you’re shattered by the time you finish working and you haven’t even had anything to eat yet.  I know it’s hard.  I love running but I still groan when the alarm goes off at 6.30 and sometimes I just hit snooze and go back to sleep.

You could spend every waking hour reading articles that tell you about how you’re destroying your health and what you should be doing about it, but the only person who can decide what will work for you is you.  The bottom line is that if you don’t stop to look after your body once in a while, one day it will stop you.

You don’t have to be a superhero

A lot of people hear the word ‘exercise’ and groan.  You don’t have to run a marathon.  Just get out and do something.  Go for a walk.  Look on YouTube for yoga videos if your joints are creaking (mine certainly are).

If you feel pain, get it checked out.  If you can’t get an appointment at your GP there are plenty of physiotherapists and biomechanics experts out there.  I discovered that my back pain was coming from my hip as two children had left me with uneven hips and my rib cage in the wrong place.  Oh, and my head is too far forward.  I know, who knew that was possible?

Staying sane

We can all feel as if we’re dashing from one thing to another without pausing for breath.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Everyone needs to stop and reflect once in a while.  For one thing, it helps you to gain perspective.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning a business strategy or thinking about next week’s food shopping.  Simply taking time out to be calm and still the chatter coming from your brain will allow you to re-enter the world with increased focus.  You’ll also have more patience with those around you.  If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health this is absolutely essential.

What do I do?

Anything you like!  Go for a walk, take a hot bath, meditate or just listen to your favourite music.  You could meet a friend who makes you smile if you just need a change of scenery.  Experiment until you find what works for you.

What do you do for ‘me time’? Drop a comment and let me know!

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