As the chaos of COVID continues, schools implement distance learning, and the election and holidays inch closer and closer, finding moments of calm and quiet is essential. Here’s how to create time for yourself.
First of all, you need to make self-care a priority. It’s easy to say that you don’t have time to take a few minutes to yourself, and maybe you don’t. BUT, what if I told you that you do have time to spare for self-care? You have time for yourself if you make time for yourself. Prioritize it, like you do sleeping or eating. Start by thinking of these moments to yourself as essential, not optional. Commit to creating calm and quiet for yourself every day.
How To Create Time For Yourself
Get Up Earlier
Okay, this may seem counterproductive, you’re trying to create calm, not exhaustion. There is a method to my madness. Let’s take a look at this real-life example: right now (literally, right now at 7:30am) I’m trying to write this with constant chatter in my ear thanks to my 5-year-old narrating her every thought.
While generally adorable, it makes it VERY hard to concentrate. If I get up early in the morning before she wakes up, I can create content, exercise, get ready, or simply enjoy my morning coffee in a cute coffee mug in peace and quiet.
I’ve dabbled in meditation here and there, but just these past few weeks I’ve started taking meditation much more seriously. Using the free iOS app Oak, I’ve been working on their 10 Days Of Mantra Meditation course. I’m on day 9!
While I may feel distracted or scatter-brained when setting out my meditation pillow or even during my meditation, I always leave it feeling a sense of calm. I often leave my meditation feeling like I’ve just woken up from a restful nap. Sitting quietly for an extended period of time may sound impossible, but just give it a try, you may surprise yourself.
As someone with anxiety and depression, I’ve been told time and time again to exercise daily. When I do push myself to exercise regularly, preferably daily, I feel the benefits. I feel better mentally and physically.
The hardest part is getting started, sometimes I need a little push from my husband. Once I get started though, I’m so happy I did. I can honestly say I’ve never completed an exercise session and regretted it. But, don’t take my word for it. I’m not an expert, these doctors are! Here’s what they have to say:
Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.Citation: Ashish Sharma, M.D., Vishal Madaan, M.D., and Frederick D. Petty, M.D., Ph.D. (2020, September). Exercise for Mental Health. National Center For Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://bit.ly/31KStfF
My favorite ways to exercise at-home are on my stationary bike, doing yoga videos online, and simply listening to music and going for a walk.
Creating Time For Yourself Recommendations
For Cardio, Strength, Running, Walking, and More: Peloton App. It has everything! You can choose from a calendar of live classes or workout whenever you’d like with their extensive on-demand class selection.
For Yoga: Yoga with Adriene. She’s the best. Adriene offers a huge variety of yoga classes for everyone at different difficulties and lengths. Check out her free monthly yoga class calendar here. Since it’s the 1st day of the month, today is the perfect day to start!
For Meditation: Oak. Oak offers meditation (guided and self-guided), guided breathing exercises, and relaxing sounds for sleep.
For Great Playlists: Spotify. Spotify offers premade playlists and allows you to craft your own perfect walking or running playlists. There’s even a BABB’s Current Favorites playlist, check it out to see what songs I’m currently loving!
My Challenge To You
Now that you have 3 ideas for creating time for yourself and some recommendations for each of these ideas, I challenge you to pick one and try it at least 3 times this week for at least 5 minutes each time. Next week, try it every day and see how you feel. I bet you’ll begin feeling better!
Share how you’re going to create time for yourself in the comments below!