28 Feb How to take time out for yourself
When was the last instance you took time out for yourself? Time to relax or do something that you thoroughly enjoyed and allowed you to switch off completely. A time when you didn’t have to think about your next school or college assignment. When you didn’t have to tread carefully around family or friends. What was it that you did?
Learning how to take time our for yourself can be difficult.
I am the worst for taking time out for myself. My life is super busy and I find it difficult to stop and recharge my batteries. I don’t do it often enough and I’m not alone. So, right now, you’re either nodding your head in agreement or thinking, ‘TeeJay just get a life and chill!’ If it’s the latter then drop me a line here and please do share your secret with me!
Commit to taking time out for yourself
Taking quality time out helps to replenish your energy levels. But you need to commit to doing so because it’s so easy to get distracted by modern life. Constant notifications (or interruptions as I call them), the demands of education, work, and pressures from family and friends. It’s nonstop.
In order for time out to really add value, to help clear your mind of worries and to think positively, you will need to find variety. I love going to the spa and while once a month may be too extravagant, once a quarter would be ideal. But taking time once a quarter is nowhere near enough, so I find shorter activities to help me unwind or give me a boost.
“Hey, I like what you’re doing. I can see you’re a smart kid.”
Find time out activities that work for you
Think about the last time you enjoyed an event or activity that didn’t require you to think too much. You would have felt at ease, happy and content. You could have been alone or with friends or family. Maybe it was a job experience day or a volunteering role. Could it be one of the following?
- Watching a movie
- Reading a book
- Expanding your mind with a TED talk
- Going for a walk
- Working out at the gym
- Participating in a yoga or Pilates session
- Cooking or baking
- Playing board games or computer games
Work out what brings you joy – try this exercise
Write down everything that you’ve thoroughly enjoyed over the past year. Just empty your thoughts. You might find that your preferred time out isn’t strenuous. It could be simple, such as reading a book, listening to a podcast or watching a movie. These types of activities allow you to enter someone else’s reality, be it fact or fiction. Being able to switch off and become engrossed for a few minutes or a couple of hours with an exciting storyline is time out. The pressures of life, a troublesome conversation with a parent, a warning from a teacher or a fallout with a BFF are momentarily forgotten. It’s your time in the present with your choice of activity.
Perhaps you love going for a long walk, a short run or volunteering at the local animal rescue centre. Being outside or with nature is refreshing and grounding whatever the season. It allows you to connect and be in the moment.
Maybe you like to be a bit more active and going to the gym or getting stuck into some form of physical exercise gives you more energy. It’s important to look after your health and fitness because if you’re not healthy how can you live properly and enjoy life? The two go hand in hand.
Downtime for you might be spending quality time with family or friends without having to clock watch. Chitchatting about nothing and everything can be therapeutic with the right people and being in a social setting can be just as energising for some as being alone is for others. Choose what situation works best for you and make it a regular habit.
“Spend time getting to know yourself and allow your true self to blossom.”
Next steps – journal your thoughts
Time flies by and it’s a great routine to journal your thoughts and ideas at the end of each day. Use a private space to jot down how you feel about situations or events. Make notes on what you’ve seen or read about that you would like to do in the future. Be curious about the big wide world.
My world is personal development and neuroscience (how the brain works) and I love to meditate and 100 percent relax in my time out. Meditation helps to switch off your thoughts by enabling you to tune into your unconscious mind and calm yourself but it’s not for everyone.
Sometimes your options can be overwhelming. Too much choice on Netflix. So many books available in your preferred genre. Multiple classes running at the gym. But which ones are best? Make a list of what you feel attracted to then tackle one at a time. It might be a list of local walks, places to visit or new movies to watch. Be aware of what helps you to unwind and what tops up your reserves. Take your time there is no rush and break up activities into segments if needs be.
“Take time to explore your interests and what makes you happy.”
Choose the life you want to lead
Schedule time out in your diary. This will help you to commit to looking after yourself but choose what you can do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Life can get very busy so work on managing your time well.
I would love to hear your ideas on how you make time for yourself or how you will now make time for yourself without it having too much of a time impact or it being a chore and remember, you absolutely do deserve it. Please connect with me and share your thoughts, even send a photo of you taking time out so we can discuss how it’s benefitted you. You can find me on:
Enjoy the rest of your day and recharge your batteries so you can live life to the max next week, next month and for years to come. Until next time…