Wednesday, July 13, 2016

List: Ten effective strategies to create more time for yourself.

When you constantly run around without time to diffuse, you tend to eventually explode.  Everyone's brain needs a break.  I don't care who you are!  As a mother and a wife, this is extremely hard for me to do.  It isn't because of time.  It's because of guilt.  I feel guilty not spending all my extra time with my children or husband.  It took hard work, dedication, and practice, but I finally learned how to master the art of "me time".  I'll share these discovered secrets with you because I definitely don't want you to explode.

mental health check for mothers; mental health check for wives; how to create me time; what is me time

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How to create time for yourself.

1.  Adopt a sense of entitlement.

It is possible to feel entitled to alone time without becoming a self-obsessed, narcissistic, snob.  The possibility that someone is going to regularly tell you to take a moment for yourself is slim to none.  Instead, realize that you're entitled to that time for your yourself on a regular basis.  Realize it.  Memorize it.  Become entitled to it.  All within reason, obviously.

2.  Make it a habit.

Once you find a moment that you can dedicate to yourself, write it down.  Take note of the day, time, duration, and what you did.  Then remember to make it a habit.  For example, if I found 45 minutes to read in the parking lot while my daughter was at dance class, I should take that 45 minutes to myself every class.  I'll make it a habit to read instead of running an errand or going home to start dinner.  Making it a habit will make it easier to do in the future.

Idea:  Create a personalized calendar like this one to visualize your alone time.  I have mine within view daily because I personalized it with pictures of my favorite people AND it serves as a reminder to take time for myself.

3.  Force yourself to get away.

I'm not saying to get up and jump on a flight to the Caribbean.  All I'm saying is to walk away from responsibilities so you aren't tempted to do them.  Is the sink full of dirty dishes?  Go to your room.  Is the hamper full in your room?  Go to backyard.  Do the plants need to be watered?  Go to Starbucks.  Are the kids in tow?  Drop them off at grandmas or have your spouse watch them.  Remember, no one is going to create the opportunity for you.  You have to take it.  Remember, a sense of entitlement.

4.  Invest in a hobby.

Invest some time and money into a hobby.  When you are invested in something, you're more likely to follow through.  Take a class.  Join a book club.  Enroll in dance lessons.  Sign up for monthly paint nights.  Whatever it is, invest in it and make it happen.

Idea:  Can't afford a monthly paint night with friends?  Try getting a paint night set like this one that comes with everything you need for less than a bottle of decent wine.  I actually love this idea so much, that all my friends are getting it for the holidays this year!

5.  Communicate that you need time for yourself.

The people in your life won't know that you're on the edge unless you communicate this to them.  Tell your significant other or someone close to you that you need that time.  Gauge how willing they are to help you accomplish it and then create a plan to make it happen.  Recently, I got angry with my husband because I didn't have any time to myself.  He told me he wasn't stopping me, but he didn't understand that he wasn't helping me either.  He had to agree to care for the kids so that it could happen.  Once we communicated, the problem was solved.

6.  Play hookie.

This should be reserved for absolute emergencies.  Meaning, you're one one dirty diaper away from a melt down.  Call out sick to work and instead of spending the day with kids, utilize the sitter.  Spend the day at a winery or on the beach or in the garden or napping.  It's called a mental health day and you're entitled to them within reason.

7.  Schedule it in.

For all my proactive peeps, don't let yourself get to breaking point.  Schedule in that alone time.  Way too busy to make it a habit?  Not interested in investing in a hobby?  Playing hookie once a year won't cut it?  Then schedule it in!  Pick a time slot and stick it on the calendar like a phone conference.

Idea:  Decorate a wall of your home with a super cute dry erase calendar like this one.  It's a great way to stay organized, communicate with the family, and pencil in some "you" time.

8.  Recognize your time killers.

Evaluate your daily routine and try to eliminate the things that waste your time.  Spend hours each week straightening your hair?  Invest in a chemical hair straightening.  Dedicating hours each day making meals?  Meal prep and find simpler recipes.  Add up all the time you saved that week and spend it doing you instead.

Idea:  If you're anything like me, you spend way too much time in the kitchen feeding the family and then cleaning up after the mess.  Once I had enough, I invested in this Trader Joe's cook book for simple meals that are healthy and budget friendly.  I even gifted it to several burnt out mommies like me only to get a huge thanks a few weeks later for simplifying their lives.

9.  Create a bird sanctuary in your yard.

I know this sounds absolutely insane, but I promise you that it works!  This is a hobby that requires very little time but leaves you feeling relaxed and accomplished.  There are many times that I feel overwhelmed, but take ten minutes to sit outside and watch the birds.  That ten minutes leaves me feeling relaxed and refreshed.

10.  Over indulge in self care.

Some beauty routines can be relaxing, such as your hair appointment, that mani/pedi, or even a facial.  Take it the next step so that it becomes alone time spent to care for yourself.  For example, upgrade your regular pedicure for a spa pedicure plus the hot stone massage.  It will only take an extra 15 minutes of your day, but could feel like a whole vacation.

How do you make time for yourself?


  1. thanks for using the photo of me in the post! What is this YOU TIME thou are speaketh of? Don't think I've had that for many a year...

  2. I've turned this me-time thing into a genuine art form. My ex says I'm selfish, I say it's an art form. Yes?;)

  3. Great ideas...and you're's guilt! So silly but so true!

  4. What, only 5? Where's ten? Cheater lol

    I've got the me time down and planning ahead at my sea. Not sure I'd consider jogging relaxing though.


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