All By Myself – Without the Guilt

Do you dream of having time to clear your head and get away, even for a little while? But then you immediately think about all the things you need to do:
Family | Work | Home Projects

We’ve all been there, trying to please everyone and get everything done without letting things fall through the cracks. But are you so overwhelmed that you feel as though you will never get off the treadmill of life? And if you do disembark from the “everyday,” things will fall apart, and at least one person will be unhappy.

If this is you, it’s time to change your mindset and think about WHY you feel guilty about taking time for yourself. When you think about allowing yourself to reach the point of overload and on the road to burnout, wouldn’t you be “dropping at least one ball” anyway if your health (mentally and physically) suffers?

And at that point, are you the person you want to be for your family and coworkers?

It’s time to think about why you shame yourself, especially when you feel jealous of those who take that time for self-care. When contemplating taking an hour for yourself and that guilt rushes over you, ask yourself why.
  • Does time for yourself cause you to fall behind at work? If so, it may be time, if you're already working a full day, to evaluate if there are areas you can delegate or eliminate. For a week, keep a timeline of the tasks you manage so that you can assess where some of the gaps may be.
  • Are there people in your life who constantly drain your time? This behavior may not be intentional, but if they're used to having on-demand access, it may be time for an open conversation about how it's affecting you personally.
  • Do you feel that anytime you sit still, its time wasted? For instance, you could organize a pantry during the 30 minutes you took to read a book. But consider what would benefit you personally.

Wouldn’t a time out regularly give you time to clear your head and do something you enjoy?

Is this new thought pattern scary? Start slowly and begin building “me time” into your schedule. It may mean getting up early when things are quiet or breaking the habit of eating lunch at your desk and taking it outside or to a quiet room to read while you eat.

The Word NO

Learn How to Use That Word Nicely

Are you the first to raise your hand to take on a new project at work? That’s great, but first, consider your current workload. It’s tough to back out of additional work once you’ve committed your time and unless it’s a career game-changer, take a step back on that next, “Yes, I can do that.”

Do you have a friend who can’t make decisions without your input? Be honest and let them know you care about their needs but are practicing self-care so that you can be a better person.

Once you’ve used the word no, do your best to push away the guilt. Instead, think about how refreshed you will be for those who need you.

Check out our previous blog: Learn the Art of Saying NO.

Your New Freedom

Test it Out

Create an appointment on your calendar and stick to it. Don’t let something distract you from that downtime unless it’s an emergency.

Put down the phone and set it to “Do not disturb.” On most phones, you can choose people to allow to get through, but before that, have a conversation to let them know about your downtime.

Downtime doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sit still.

You can:
  • Learn a new skill or language
  • Exercise – which is great for you physically and mentally
  • Get your nails done – you’ll feel better about yourself

If someone pressures you to help with something, be HONEST and explain that you need to commit yourself. It’s most likely they will understand and may even relate.

Share notes on your new awareness and get others on the self-care kick so you can back each other up.

Remember, practicing self-care can be difficult at first, but once you incorporate it into your daily routine, it will become second nature, and you may find you’re more productive in the “must dos” at work and home.
What will you do with your “me time?”
How about listening to a pastime favorite.