Make Time for Yourself
There is a recurring trend I see all the time when people talk to me about my journey. They tell me how inspiring my journey which is such an amazing feeling on a personal level. Unfortunately, it's almost ALWAYS followed up with, "I wish I had the time to do that."
This is not a once in a while mentality, I have seen this mindset for YEARS, with myself included once uttering that bull crap on a constant basis.
To when I was driving, I was thinking about that because I read a comment where once again, someone said the same thing. Why don't we collectively make time for ourselves? Yes, I know we all have responsibilities, jobs, kids, etc., that we use as a crutch to brush aside our desires to be better. I don't think anyone is really immune from responsibilities, schedules, or commitments, so why does it seem easier for some to take care of themselves and not everyone?
I already feel some of the eye rolls coming my way.
"Yeah, easier said than done."
"I have kids."
"There's not enough hours in the day."
"My job is too demanding."
"I'm too tired for anything else."
I get it! Some days are hard, maybe even all days are hard but let's try an analogy shall we?
You live in a home. It's obviously not free. You have to pay the electric bill, the gas bill, the water bill, internet, rent and phones. You have to buy food for the house, clothes for your body, home supplies, repairs when things break, etc. Now, I assume you reading this are likely like most of us where we can't pay for all of this in one sitting. We have to budget our money. Some of these things we can maybe get away with being frugal but we need the main utilities right? You find a way every month to make sure the power stays on, the internet is working, your phone is working, your heater is working. Why don't we take the same approach to ourselves in how we budget our time?
I am not saying that you have to work out for 8 hours a day, or spend crazy amounts of money on regimes and such. Right now, just make some time. Your mental health cannot fully function to its potential if it's constantly running ragged. Your body cannot fully function if it's not being taken care of. Your organs cannot fully function if you are throwing only fast food down it. There needs to be balance, not only with your finances but with your overall being. Your electric bill needs to be paid just as importantly as your mental cup needs to be filled. Your water bill needs to be paid just as importantly as your organs need water to keep you healthy. Your Gas bill needs to be paid just as importantly as your muscles need to be strong.
Budget your time.
Now, I know that not everyone works for 8 hours and sleeps for 8 hours. I am not here to give you a special one all fix all schedule to change your life. What I want you to think about is your current schedule. What you do daily? What excuses have you been given and how can we change the mindset?
"I don't have time to cook healthy."
"Healthy food is too expensive."
"I have kids."
Well, you need to eat every day and the kids need to eat every day. We live in a digital world where millions of recipes are avail at our fingertips with the swipe of a screen. Gone are the days of 3 hour meals. There so many meals that are 30 mins or less and are inexpensive. I have watched people sit in a drive thru for 30 mins, so don't think there's not time to cook at home (which not only uses time management but also helps with money management.) On Sundays, I buy ready made salads for myself for lunches and I buy a package of chicken and a bag of broccoli for my husband to make meal preps. Usually ranges between $30-$40 and we have a weeks worth of lunches for 2 people. If we go to one drive thru, we have spent close to that and it takes more time to go to drive throughs for each lunch than it is to cook one time for the whole week. That is just one example right there.
"I don't have time to exercise."
"I am too tired to work out."
"I don't have money for a gym membership or trainer."
When we aren't moving our bodies, it drains more energy than you think. When you are not working out, exercising and moving, your body comes accustomed to that and so the idea of even the smallest movement seems tiring and unrealistic to achieve. When your body is moving more on a daily basis, your body catches up with your mind and the more you move, the more you crave to move. When I was home all day, I always felt tired and I made the same excuses. But when I started doin new things slowly and it was becoming new habits, I often found myself with natural energy throughout the day and the more I accomplished, the more the energy grew and the more things I wanted to add to the list.
Too often we find ourselves making excuses because the first steps are always the hardest. Trust me I know! But it all starts with the decision that you want to make changes and you start small and increase from there.
Indulge me for a moment.
Go to your phone settings and look up your screen time for last week? or better just, look at your daily average? You might be surprised how much time is spent on your phone on social media, Tik Tok videos, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, reading the news, texting, calling, etc. in just ONE DAY!
Curious to know, is it 1 hour? Is it 4 hours? Is it 8 hours?
I have a feeling when you see that time amount, 30 minutes doesn't seem so challenging anymore. Or even 20 minutes a day.
For today, start with 10-30 mins. Do something that will pay one of your internal utilities.
Go for a walk.
Go to the market and get some better meals to make.
Put on some music and just dance
Talk to someone you haven't talked to in a long time.
Do a workout video.
Plan what you can do with the other days of the week to do your 10-30 minutes.
Read a book.
Take a relaxing bath.
Do your hair and makeup, even if you have nowhere to go. (Often times when you do this, you naturally feel more confident and want to find something more to do)
Write down a list of goals you would love to start working on
There's so many things you can do in just 10-30 mins a day. After a week or so of being consistent, you have not created a new habit and a new base line. When you are ready, increase it from there. Before you know it, you will increase it to 1 hour a day, 2-3 hours a day, maybe even more. Because now you are doing more than you did yesterday, your body adjusts and gives you more energy to keep up with your new minimums. Your battery is constantly recharging and your utilities are being "paid." You start looking forward to your "time" and may even do your mundane chores faster and with more gusto so you can get to faster and/or longer.
Dancing was my recharge. I danced a couple nights a week and then after a while, I wanted more. So on the days I didn't dance, I was craving activity so I started swimming on those off days. one of the days, I started boxing for an hour. Nowadays, I am finding ways to dance more, swim more, cook more because I am finding myself with a lot more energy than I ever have and wanting to keep pushing more where I can.
It's time to take control of your health budget. Treat it with the same importance as your financial bills and other adulting responsibilities. You owe it to yourself to be the best version possible. No more excuses. No more roadblocks. No more "I wish."
Turn your "I wish" mentality into an "I do" mentality.
What are you going to spend your new allotted time on today?
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