We all have to deal with a lot of pressure in our day to day life, and over time this leads us to prioritize other things ahead of our personal wellbeing. Of course, there are some responsibilities we have to take on; caring for sick relatives, handling a project at work, and honoring any other commitments we have made. But how long can you keep putting everything else first before your health is impacted?
There is a reason why airline safety dictates that you should put your own gas mask on first before assisting others; you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. Here are a few ways you can take a little time for yourself, without dropping the ball on your other commitments.
Your free time can vary per day, so make a plan to do between 15 and 60 minutes of exercise per day. Shut the world out by focusing on yourself, your routine, and your breathing. You can set aside some time first thing in the morning, just before you go to bed, or even in the afternoon before you start dinner. As an added benefit, exercise will give you more energy to cross things off your list. This will be better for your body than increasing your caffeine intake or taking something stronger (if you have any queries about energy and performance enhancements, get your questions answered here).
You can’t take on everything at once. You will burn out. When you do, there will be no one who knows how to take over, because you’ve taken on a bulk of the work. The best way to make sure you have more time for yourself is to let someone else take on some of the load. If you’re caring for a sick relative, call in another family member to take shifts, or get some professional help. Form a support network of people who can take care of your children in case of an emergency, such as a spouse, neighbor, or regular babysitter. Ask for help at work if you’re struggling with a project, or turn down an extra assignment if you’re not required to do it.
Rekindle your love for your hobbies
There was a time when you read a new book every week, went shopping every weekend, or took pride in cooking a new dish for your family. Hobbies aren’t just a good way to pass the time; they are a way for us to relax and relieve stress. When was the last time you met a colleague for drinks and didn’t talk about work? When did you last go on a coffee date with your partner? What was the last book you read from cover to cover?
As with your exercise, set out some time each day to rekindle your love for your hobbies, even if you just take a book with you to read on the bus to work.
Finally, remember that you are important.