Busy season is coming, I can feel it, it’s in the air. This is the time when we run ourselves into the ground trying to do everything that we always do with a whole other layer on top. Today I wanted to share a few tips to help you through and ensure you still make time for yourself.
When we’re busy, time for ourselves is always the first thing to go out the window, if it even existed in the first place.
Not this time, folks, make a change!
Accept You Can Control This
This one is in your control, you can choose to make different choices this time around, and making time for yourself should ensure that everything runs more smoothly and you’re able to enjoy it.
We’ve all seen the quotes about not being able to pour from an empty cup, we see them and scroll on by, right? But stop for just one second and think back to the last time you did try to keep on pushing when you know you were burning out.
However, we’re all been guilty of getting stuck in the mindset that there’s nothing we can do, we have too much on and no time to stop.
I’m one of those busy, productive people, and whether it’s been when I was working full time with long commutes or whether it’s been when I’ve had a toddler and new-born and trying to get this business off the ground, I know there were pockets of time that I could have and should have used more wisely.
It can just be exhausting to summon the energy to do so when you’re busy, it’s an endless cycle!
But you can stop that if you can accept you can control this and you’re determined to do something about it. You’ll feel the difference in yourself almost immediately. Try it.
Identify Your Stress Points
Take a moment to think about the things, situations, people and times that cause you the most stress. Don’t worry about solutions at this point, just figure them out and be as specific as you can.
The interesting thing here is that a few things will spring straight to mind, and the more specific you are the better you’ll be at drilling down and working out where the stress really lies.
Raised stress levels are terrible for our health, physical as well as mental, and they’re rarely conducive for creating a happy environment and getting things done.
Much though I’d love to, I can’t wave a magic wand and take all stress, pressures and tasks out of your everyday life, but I can suggest a few things to help.
Take a breath.
Remove or change things that cause you stress where reasonable. I know this can’t always be done, but look for a way to do so as your first point of call. Small changes can make a difference here. You might need to enlist help from someone else, you might drop something that’s more stress than it’s worth, you might find a new way of managing something.
Lowering your stress allows you to step back off the hamster wheel and believe that you can make some time for yourself.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, lists make everything so much easier!
I can’t give you more hours in the day, but by using lists, you will be more productive and organised in those hours you have so you’ll free up some time.
Whether it’s a brain dump of everything you need to organise this month, a list on the go for gift ideas or a daily to-do list, it’s going to help you.
Along with being useful for getting tasks done and remembering things, writing things down declutters your mind which will definitely lower your stress levels.
The only caveat I’d put in here is I’ve seen people get everything they need to do out in a list and then seeing the size of a task in front of them on paper can be overwhelming. This is still a good thing, you just need to take a moment to step back, acknowledge that it can’t all be done and prioritise realistically.
Go create lists for everything!
There is a line between doing what’s right and fair for you and the people around you and then doing more than you should be expected to. Learn to recognise where that line is and say no when anything crosses it.
No doesn’t have to be rude, you don’t need to have lots of explanations, you just know when something is too much and you say no.
I know this one’s hard for a lot of people. Just remember why you’re saying no, because you’re prioritising your own wellbeing. And that’s not selfish, it’s important.
Make The Most Of Your Time
OK, you’ve accepted you need to and want to do something about this, you’ve identified and reduced your stress points, you’ve written lists to keep you organised and you’ve been saying ‘no’ when you’ve needed to.
You must be feeling better already?
You’ve got this, now you just want to make the most of the little pockets of time you’ve freed up.
Treat yourself with those little things you know improve your mood.
Taking a walk, playing with the kids, getting outside into calming space, reading a book, relaxing into a yoga session, wallowing in a bath, scribbling in your journal, dancing round to music, unwinding with a puzzle.
Whatever it is that makes you feel like you and helps you to look after yourself. Do that.
It needn’t be big. We are used to running on near empty, anything little will usually be enough to perk us back up. If you need loads more, you’ve let it go too far.
It’s going to be better to give yourself small and frequent perk ups like this. Fit them in. Ten minutes here, half an hour there, daily. You’ll soon feel it and you’ll be both happier and more productive for it.
I hope this has helped and some of this has resonated. Enjoy your little pockets of time today.