Don’t underestimate the importance of a little time for yourself everyday. For some, this statement alone will evoke instant thoughts of “I’d love to but I can’t”, “I don’t have time”, “I’m too busy with work and family”. There is always something more important than YOU. Why is this? In my work with clients, common themes that people talk about are a sense of guilt for doing something for themselves, or unworthiness that somehow their wellbeing isn’t as important as others. Some describe hectic days where they physically can’t find half hour in and others have been so busy with work or raising a family that they have forgotten what they enjoy. So, despite all these obstacles, why is it important to still try and find time for you? The irony is that when people are stressed, overloaded, overwhelmed and busy they are often less present, less available and enjoy life less. Life can start to feel like you’re on autopilot – just getting through each day like you’re on a hamster wheel. I liken it to the analogy of being on a treadmill with the speed set slightly faster than your legs can manage but not being able to get off! I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to this!
By taking some time for yourself each day, you may feel more present, feel less stressed, more tolerant and enjoy more things in life. Try it as a test – set aside as little as 10 minutes to do something you enjoy. This could be reading a book, going for a short walk, having a bath, listening to music, sitting in peace and quiet, meditating and the list goes on. Do the activity in a ‘mindful’ way meaning being very present as you do it and not thinking about what you have already done or what you need to do later! At the end, notice how you feel. And notice what difference it makes to the rest of your day. Time for YOU is not really time for YOU – by taking time for you, you’re able to give more of YOU to those you love and the things you care about so think of time for YOU as time for LIFE.
By Hita Mistry
Clinical & Forensic Psychologist