Three simple steps to create soul nourishing me-time
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT the importance of me-time but how many of us really get to enjoy it on a daily basis? If you’re like most people, you probably let this exclusive time for yourself being eaten up by far more important people than you: your partner, children, ageing parents, colleagues, clients and even your neighbours.
The next Superwoman
Don’t get me wrong – it’s terrifically noble that you’re trying to be the next Superwoman, but at some stage you’ll have to face the fact that you too are only human. And believe me, this fact won’t likely present itself in a gentle way once you find yourself at the end of your strengths.
The danger of burnout
Recent research shows that none less than 32% of working and/or parenting women between 25 and 45 burn out, simply because they’re desperate to accommodate everyone except themselves. Since burnout happens to so many of us, it seems a normal risk of modern life. The truth however is that burnout has a very serious impact on our lives and careers, and most people who’ve suffered from it never fully recover.
So what can you do to prevent yourself from falling into the burnout trap?
1. Indulge in disaster scenarios (and discover some of the rubbish your mind likes to produce)
Consider why it’s so important for you to be Miss Perfect. Is it because you see your friends, colleagues or other mums doing exactly the same and you don’t want to be the odd one out? Is it because you’re still desperate to be ‘a good girl’ and make others proud of you? Ask yourself: ‘What will happen if I loosen up a bit? If I do some gardening while I could also do the dishes? Will the world come crashing down?’ Come up with different disaster scenarios answering this question: ‘If I’m not trying to be a good girl and juggling a thousand tasks a day, then … will happen.’ This is a highly effective way to gain insight in your thinking process. Your answers will soon show you how absurd most of your subconscious assumptions are. Once you’ve created clarity, it’s easy to throw useless beliefs overboard and start carving out more time for you and your loved ones.
2. Be more picky
Realise that your energy source isn’t bottomless, and that your energy is extremely valuable. So spend some serious thinking time on deciding what activities and people you’d like to give your precious energy to, rather than blindly saying ‘yes’ to everything that crosses your path just to keep everybody happy. You only have so much to give, so make absolutely sure you give it to the right causes and the right people. Being careful with your own energy prevents you from filling up your time with senseless chores and contacts, and frees up more quality time for yourself.
3. Slow down
When you’re really busy and a dozen things seem to happen at the same time, imagine looking at yourself as if you’re a security camera. How is your busy self behaving when she is stressing out? You might see yourself frantically typing a report; you might see yourself yelling at your children; you might see yourself driving dangerously only because you’re running late. After you’ve observed your stressed self, get back in control and slow down consciously. It’s scientifically proven that with slowing down you will gain time in the long run. Rushing only takes time and it turns life into a succession of shallow and forgettable experiences. Take a few deep breaths and relax the muscles in your face, neck, shoulders, and hands. Feel your body from within. You will feel a shift immediately as you are reconnecting with your innermost self. This moment of mindfulness is the ultimate form of me-time and I promise that it will make you feel extremely good about yourself.
Nourish your soul
The truth is that no one but you is responsible for your physical and emotional wellbeing. So be kind to yourself and start making conscious decisions that won’t starve your soul, but instead cherish and nourish it.
P.S. Would you like to learn how to live a more mindful life and connect with your innermost self? Then buy my digital Karma Kickstart course today. You don't have to learn to meditate, but you can start right away with super practical exercises which adapt easily to your everyday routines. With my approach you don't have to plan or schedule – you simply practise with your daily tasks.
So check out Karma Kickstart now and start creating some well-deserved me-time.