All the magazines, blogs and other influencers agree, this year you have to take some time for yourself. A nice idea in theory, but how do you do it in practice when you feel that there are already not enough hours in the day?
Here are our tips for taking some time for yourself when you’re overwhelmed…
Above all, it is essential to learn to let go. Freeing up time for yourself and for taking care of yourself should not add extra pressure, quite the contrary. So you learn to let go. The world won’t collapse if you take 15 minutes a day for yourself or if the laundry hasn’t been done today. As long as you don’t lose a customer and your children don’t wait for you for an hour in front of the school, everything is fine!
Learn to be indulgent with yourself, no one is perfect and you are not a superhero. Neither are all those other women who make you feel like you can handle everything with confusing ease when you’re struggling to breathe. Taking care of yourself starts with adopting a caring mindset, first and foremost towards yourself. There is nothing more dangerous in the long run than accumulated fatigue, frustration and self-forgetfulness. This time you will take for yourself is also beneficial for all those around you, don’t forget it.
The key to finding time where apparently there is none is organisation. Most of your tasks are daily or weekly, so you can list them on a schedule. Making a precise schedule for the whole family frees up some of your mental workload. You don’t have to think about it every day at the big Wednesday gym class, as you’ll see it noted in the right place every time you pass by the schedule. You can also plan meals, so you make a little more room in your overloaded brain.
Seeing all the things to do in the week written down in black and white, you’ll see that there are small slots of free time here and there. Now you can make a list of the things you equate with taking care of yourself. This should not in any way advance you in your tasks, but rather constitute activities that, on paper, have no other purpose than to please you. Read a good book, go back to sewing, go for a walk alone, take a bath, do yoga? The choice is yours! Then match your list with your schedule and schedule some of your fun activities in your free time.
Find a moment alone and close the doors
It is important, especially when you are in a couple with children, to free yourself from moments alone. This can be in the morning, when the whole house is still asleep, or in the evening once everyone is in bed. If you are working, the lunch break can also be a moment all to yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s humane. Everyone needs to focus on themselves and recharge their batteries. If the house is full of people and you are not ready to get up early to enjoy it, don’t hesitate to close the doors! If you can, arrange for your dad to feed the children alone every Wednesday evening for your weekly bath, and return the favour – he’ll be delighted. At lunchtime, have lunch in the park with a good book in hand. If cooking is a pleasure for you more than a household task, it’s a good thing, because you can do it every day. The solution to transform this potentially stressful moment into a moment for yourself is to isolate yourself. Same for the bathroom or bedroom, learn to close the doors and simply explain to your family that you should not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes.
Don’t put off your “self-care” time.
When you’re overwhelmed, you end up putting off certain tasks because, in the end, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. Beyond the letting go we were talking about earlier, you will also have to learn not to put off only those moments that are dedicated to you. So of course, if there is a choice to be made between your reading of the day and the children’s bath, it will be difficult to let them go to bed dirty. But otherwise, be careful to keep your moments to yourself. If today it’s hard to walk for an hour, get off the metro or bus early and walk for 20 minutes, it’s always a good idea. Keep in mind that just taking time for yourself has a more positive impact than the activity in question or the time spent doing it. Make yourself take a moment for yourself every day, even if it’s just tea on the terrace without the kids at first. It takes about 21 days for your brain to learn a new reflex, so start today!