We are trained to go-go-go, 24/7. As Americans, we have become masters of multitasking — taking conference calls while dropping the kids off at school, working over lunch and sending emails at the dinner table. We somehow manage to tackle our colossal list of daily to-dos, but forget to prioritize one (very) important thing — ourselves.
Because somehow, we are convinced we don’t have time. There’s always something “more important” we need to do. For some of us, even the thought of taking a personal time out makes us feel guilty. As “Care of the Soul” author Thomas Moore says: “Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.”
“Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.” – Thomas Moore
News flash: You have time. Every single one of us has 24 hours in a day. Even Beyoncé. No matter what our life demands from us, we all have 10 minutes to spare. To prove it to you, here are three easy ways to sneak “me time” into your daily routine.
1. Get up 10 minutes earlier
This is one of my favorites. Getting up early in the morning — before everyone else — is a very special time. It’s the quiet before the storm. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, taking time to sip some coffee, look out the window and think about absolutely nothing that has to do with the rest of the day clears my head and puts my mind at ease before I have to, you know, do adult things and be responsible. Starting your morning on the right foot like this sets the tone for the rest of your day. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy the a.m. hours for a change than hit that nagging snooze button one more time?
2. Go to bed 10 minutes later
How many times have you lied in bed for hours, eyes glued to your iPhone or iPad? You are more important than whatever you are looking at. Even Pinterest. (Yep, I said it.) Take a few minutes for yourself to unwind. I like to take a relaxing bath, do some restful yoga or just lie in bed, eyes closed, reflecting on the day. If you take this time for yourself before hitting the sack, you’ll go to bed in a more relaxed state, and probably wake up tomorrow feeling more refreshed.
3. Take a lunch break
Do you make a habit of eating at your desk? OK, I’m guilty of this. But there are so many reasons you should take a lunch break, even if it’s only a few minutes. Most importantly, it gives your mind a much-needed breather. I find that when I take a break, I am actually more productive for the rest of the day. There’s also talk about how eating more mindfully can help you whittle your waistline, so that’s an added bonus. Plus, crumbs and ketchup on the keyboard… eww.
So there you have it. Three prime opportunities we all have to take 10 minutes to ourselves. Every. Darn. Day. No more excuses; It’s time to prioritize YOU. Why? Because you’re pretty great, and when you take time for yourself, you’re even more awesome and that transcends into everything you do and everyone you’re around.
Unfortunately, our brains can be not-so-great. Even if our hearts know “me time” is important, our brains can try to trick us into thinking we simply can’t fit it into our schedule today. Whenever this happens, I remind myself of this very important lesson: