Sometimes we convince ourselves that taking time to recharge is a luxury we can’t afford. However that is not true. Whether we can proactively allot an hour a day for ourselves or we have an unplanned ten minute gap between two meetings, we have time to take for ourselves.
Regardless of which group you belong to, you can use your time to reconnect with old friends, take some time outside or anything that will leave you feeling more centered. An important thing to keep in mind when it comes to using our downtime wisely is to make sure that whatever we are doing during our break increases our sense of wellbeing. With all the social media platforms, we may automatically go to our newsfeed and mindlessly scroll during unplanned free time. However, we may notice that after we’ve gotten lost in social media posts we don’t feel any more rejuvenated than when we started. This tells us that we didn’t use our time as wisely as we would have liked.
A lot of times we believe we are important if we are busy, especially important if we are unbelievably busy. We forget to remind ourselves that busyness often leads to stress and dissatisfaction with our lives. This is why we value time off from work and vacation so highly because those are times when we are either not busy or significantly less busy. It is time we can take to slow down and reset.
It can be helpful to sit down and make a list of things we want to have more of in our lives so when we get a block of free time, no matter how long it is or if it is planned or unplanned, we have an idea of how to feel more recharged after that time rather than getting lost in a social media newsfeed. So my challenge for you is to sit down at some point in the next week and make a list of things that bring you joy and have it saved in your phone or keep a copy in your wallet so next time you get a surprise 10 minute break, you can use it wisely.
If you are unsure of how to start, here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Make a list of old friends or family you have fallen out of touch with. Next time you have a few minutes, send them a text or give them a call to set up a time to have dinner or meet for coffee to catch up.
- If you enjoy getting some sun, maybe take a walk around the block or sit outside for a few minutes.
- Make a Spotify playlist of songs that remind you of good times in your life.
- Keep options of your favorite drink nearby & make yourself a cup of your favorite tea or coffee next time you have a few minutes.
- Get yourself a gift card to a nearby bakery or shop that has snacks you enjoy.
- Breathe. Sometimes simply doing nothing can be the most rewarding thing. Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths while thinking of nothing but the feeling of inhaling & exhaling. Try to count one breath at a time from 1-5, anytime your mind wanders, start over again at 1 until you can reach 5 without wandering off, (Even if you have to restart 5 times, this will likely take you less than a minute).
You Deserve to be a Priority
No one wins the game where the busiest, most stressed person gets a medal. Life is not one great big emergency, chronically not taking care of yourself is. If you find yourself struggling with separation busyness from importance, remind yourself that you are important regardless and can prove it to yourself by prioritizing time for you to recharge & reset so you can conquer what lies ahead of you. If you feel you need additional support in reducing your stress and figuring out your life goals, give our office a call.