Many of our Shrinking Thinkers have told us how much they struggle with getting time to focus on themselves and their needs. There’s so much to do, and so little time to get it all done! They’ve told us that it’s easier to stick with their old habits and eating behaviours – even though they know they’re not working – than it is to create time to learn new skills and practise new behaviours. But they’re also frustrated about how they’re feeling, frustrated that nothing has changed, that they’re still struggling with their weight…
Is this you? Are you struggling with too many demands on your time? Do you have a huge, long “to-do” list that never seems to get shorter? Of course you have! You’re a modern woman. You’re busy, you’ve got a responsible job, perhaps you run your own business. You’re juggling this with family life, looking after kids, parents, in-laws, pets, friends… and there’s never enough time to get it all done! And as for getting “me-time” – well, forget it – it’s never going to happen, is it? Someone else’s needs always seem to take priority, and yours just seem to get pushed back, again and again! And what even is “me-time” anyway?! Who has time to read, relax, have a candle-lit bath, get time on their own without interruptions? How can you possibly think about managing to eat properly & plan healthy meals when you’re so stressed and wrung out that all you can do is get through the day until it’s “wine-o-clock”?!
Does this sound familiar?!
The thing is, having “me-time” is EXACTLY the thing that keeps you sane (besides wine-o-clock of course!) And when you’re feeling sane, when you’re feeling good about yourself, feeling in control, everything else seems to run more smoothly doesn’t it? Somehow, it’s easier to just get things done.
If you get sick, who will look after the kids, the parents, the business? If you’re like many of our clients, the answer is no-one. So can you see how critical it is that you keep well, healthy and happy – because when you’re well, you can look after everyone else, right? So YOU actually have to be top of your own priority list, however crazy or impossible that feels at the moment.
It’s actually ALL about prioritising YOU time, about ring-fencing it – protecting your time and MAKING it happen for you so that you’re sane and happy. And it’s not at all selfish to do this. It’s actually essential, and it counts as taking care of your family – because if you’ve looked after yourself, then you’re better able to look after everyone else. Does that make sense?
You know how the days before you go away on a holiday are the days you get the most done? Yes you might be crazily busy, and it might be stressful, but you get things done because you HAVE to finish them. And actually, some things get dropped because you decide they’re not as important as you initially thought they were, so they can wait til you’re back.
It’s the same with putting your own needs first. When you put your own needs first, REFUSE to compromise on your “me-time” and COMMIT to doing it each day, you’ll still get the stuff on your to-do list that absolutely needs to get done, done. You’ll compromise on the less important tasks that can wait til tomorrow. But the important thing is, you haven’t compromised on YOUR time. You’ll have taken care of yourself, and your needs, and you’ll feel WAY better about yourself as a result. (Note your “me-time” doesn’t have to be done first, but you DO need to commit to scheduling it in each day, and refuse to re-schedule it.)
So take your diary out now, write in YOUR activities and “me-time”, in PEN, and then commit to protecting it – commit to allowing NOTHING to make you give it up. Remind yourself you’re actually looking after your family by taking this time for yourself! You’ll be happier (and quite possibly healthier) as a result), and everything else will feel easier too.
I know it sounds too simple to work, but give it a go. Try it out. Commit to doing it for at least a week, ideally a month (remember experts say it takes 3-6 weeks to create a new habit) and see how well it works for you – and remember to tell us how you get on!