Five Steps Closer to “Me Time”

We all struggle with it – there is never enough time!

Never enough time for ourselves, never enough time to finish the daily to-do list, much less find the time to pursue a hobby or relax. As a young mom we crave alone time sans small children, as a mom of teens we crave a day with no driving, as an older mom we crave an empty nest, but for most of us, time for ourselves seems elusive no matter what stage of life we find ourselves. Yet we all agree it is important to “find the time.” Finding time, such an odd phrase – is it missing? Is it hiding in a corner somewhere? Is time something we can find? Time is a precious commodity; it is not something we can get or make more of, so we need to take a good look at our schedule and take control of the hours and minutes in our day. Each day has 24 hours and each hour has 60 minutes; we all have that – but how are we using it?

For those of us who expected our nest to be empty at this point but find ourselves still caring for either a child or a parent, or both, it is critical that we block out the time to do something for ourselves. The act of caring for others, especially those with needs beyond our usual scope, requires our cups to be full. We can only be effective if we have the resources to keep our spirits revived and our bodies nourished with energy. So how do we do this? Here are five steps that will bring you closer to finding some “ME Time.”

  1. Choose Joy – especially in the difficult times. If we let circumstances control our emotions or feelings, most likely we will always be frustrated and overwhelmed. If we consciously make the choice to choose joy in those difficult moments of interruptions or lack of responsibility or let-down, our spirits will be ready to meet the circumstance with kindness and a servant’s heart.
  • Change one thing. What is frustrating or overwhelming you? Perhaps you are tired of repeating yourself, exhausted from being awakened at night, tired of extra laundry, no privacy, or a myriad of other possibilities. Change one thing. Brainstorm with a spouse or a friend what that could be and make it happen. Maybe the change needs to happen in you? See Choose Joy above.
  • Just say NO and Let It Go. No is a powerful little word that is often underused. If you want to make some time for yourself on the schedule, you are going to have to say No to something else. Especially now when you have an additional responsibility at home. Prayerfully consider what can go off your list at this time. Perhaps it is as simple as someone else prepares a meal once a week and that extra hour it gives you is used to go for coffee, or work on a project, or read a book. And keep in mind that the space it opens is time for you. Guard it! Protect it! And Use it Wisely! And Let it go – that meal may not be or even look remotely like your definition of a meal – but let it go, you just gained an hour of time.
  • Failure to plan equals a plan to fail. Schedule and block time to plan out your week or your day, if that is all that you can manage. If you are armed with a list of what you want to accomplish today, you will be able to find your place after that third interruption sends you down a rabbit hole. Where was I? will be the easiest question to answer if your day is planned. (But, always ask yourself before you choose to be interrupted – Is this something that I can just say No?)
  • Be honest with yourself – I CAN NOT DO IT ALL! Let that be your mantra and prioritize the things you must do. Yes, we want to do it all because our culture tells us we can and should be able do it all.  But God created us each to be unique and to be able to do what He intends for us to do. So, stop comparing and become comfortable with who you are. God has called you to this time and place and will equip you for such a time as this.

So, there you have it – Five steps closer to having to a little me time. Which one will you try first?

Check out our resource section for more steps to finding time for yourself. A good place to start is in our free guide, Taking Care of You, A Guide for when you are taking care of everybody else.

Similar Posts