Busy is a 2017 epidemic.
Even if we have nothing important to do, we find something urgent to do. Our diaries are filled with meetings, appointments, deadlines, phone calls, playdates, scheduled activities, and more. It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time fitting in some much needed “me-time.” Carving out a few hours in our daily lives to take care of ourselves shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury. Rather, it’s a necessary ingredient for health and happiness. Ultimately, when we feel more fulfilled, we are better co-workers, friends, parents, and spouses.
Here’s how you can ensure ample time in your week to make time for kids and family, zen out, laugh, read, workout, and play.
1. Lock It In
I look at my week in advance and slot exercise into my daily schedule. I think of it like a meeting. If it isn’t in the planner then it doesn’t get done. I think of “me-time” like any other meetings too, except I’m not meeting with anyone but myself.
2. Create Consequences
One of the ways to stick with something you know is good for you is to create a consequence if you don’t commit to it. I will often pay in advance for a fitness class and if I miss it, I lose my money. That’s painful! Many boutique fitness studios offer pay-per-class plans.
3. Focus On What’s Important – Not Just What’s Urgent
I think that “business” often leads to urgency and we forget what’s most important in our lives. How many times this week have you stayed late at work or brought work home? How many times have your kids tried to tell you a story and your response was, “Uh yeah, yeah, mmm.” The truth is – not everything we stack at the top of our to-do list needs to be done right away. We often over-prioritize the unimportant for the sake of success, productivity, or mental ease, which just leaves us with longer lists and undo stress.
4. Learn To Appreciate The Moments That You Do Have
Mindset is everything. If your boss made you stay at work late, forcing you to miss the first half of your child’s big sports game or ballet recital, then you’ll likely show up late and upset. Rather than sitting in the stands ticked off at your boss, shift your mindset. Be present and happy that you made it at all. This can be applied to anything and everything. Remember – life is like a mirror. If you smile at it, it will smile back at you!
5. Plan Out Your Meals
So you’re probably thinking, “What the heck does eating have to do with finding better work/play balance.” A lot actually. Filling your plate with fresh meals that are loaded with good-for-you veggies and lean proteins doesn’t only make you look great, it also helps you feel amazing. But with so many tasks packed onto our daily plates, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day? Here’s the good news – you don’t have to be! Planning out a weekly breakfast menu, pre-packing your lunches, and prepping your dinner ingredients in advance allows you to make gorgeous and delicious meals without all the stress.
6. Let Go Of The Guilt
We can’t do it all at any given moment, and we certainly can’t be everything to everyone all the time. Once we understand and embrace that fact, we can start letting go of the guilt.