Category Archives: relationships

5 Ways to Find Time for Yourself Today

Being intentional with your day take focus on how you spend your time each moment. There are so many days that I crawl into bed and realize that I promised others too much. I spent the entire day focusing on others. Many of these times are because I did something in fear of their approval, not really out of a genuine service. I invited that person over for dinner because I felt bad for not seeing them in so long. Or I agreed to an after-work outing because somebody really wanted me to go, not that I really had the “free” time to spend or the “free” money to spend either.

I read an article the other day on Donald Miller’s blog, Storyline, that really reminded me of this perspective.

If we can very easily plan away our days, why is it so hard to find a moment for ourselves?

So I sat down and made a list. A list of things that I could do on a daily basis to make sure that I had time for myself. Because really, if I give all of myself away to others every day, especially out of fear of disapproval, I am ragged. I am tired. I am not genuine. I am not 100% loving. I am not giving of my full self. It is a disservice to others, and myself.

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
I know you may ask, how much earlier can I get up?! I sat my alarm earlier to just barely shower some mornings. Other mornings I have full intentions of going to the gym. Some mornings I just want to make coffee and get out the door on time. Fifteen minutes to read, to pray, to spend time on myself makes my morning so much easier.

2. Your phone can wait.
Especially in the morning, I have an issue letting others control my time. I unconsciously look at my phone as soon as I wake up. From there, I spend my extra time responding to others. Regardless if it is checking my email, my social media, or texts that came in through the night, I spend my time focused on others instead of myself. Lately, after turning off my alarm, I do not lay in bed scrolling through my phone. I do something for me, and let my phone and all of my energy for others wait. I take care of me first.

3. Utilize those “pause” moments.
Spending time in line at the grocery store? In the parking lot at your child’s soccer game? Baseball game? After school? How many times a day does that happen? Those add up! I counted one day and my “pause” moments was an equivalent of over an hour?! Now I take advantage of those moments for me and read. I love reading. It use to take me months to get through one book… last week I read one in three days! Find those “pause” moments and do something that you enjoy.

4. Enjoy outside.
Vacations are the instances that we actually take more time for others than the average given day. What do we do during those vacations? Exercise? Play? Be outside… Some days I cannot bring myself to commit an hour to go to the gym. “I do not have enough time…” I complain. But go outside. Take a walk. Work in the yard; garden. Drink your morning coffee on the porch. Or eat your evening dinner in the back yard. Doing some of the more normal-every-day-have-to-do tasks, like eating, outside will make you feel better. It is that little extra step that will have such an impact on your mood, because you took that intentional step to help you relax.

5. Do unto ourselves as we would do unto others.
Seriously. Do you do more for others than you do for yourself? Think about it. If you continuously give and serve, you will have nothing left. No time to recharge. No time to recoup. No time to for you. And typically, you also do not leave anything goodness for your family either, so they suffer too. This is more of a mindset thing, not an actual thing. But think about it, and do something for you that you would typically do for others.

What are other ways that you can find time for yourself today?

photo credit

on saying something

It is completely true. A simple little note can lighten somebody’s load and lift a heart. I think Shauna Niequist says it best in her book Bittersweet when she writes, “But there’s something worse than the things people say. It’s much worse, I think, when people say nothing.” She talks about the idea of saying nothing when you are thinking of someone, when you want to feel pain for them, knowing that their life has stopped — but your life is still going. The times when there are no words to say, to speak, because you do not know what to say. And so, you say nothing.

I am so guilty of this. In times of celebration and in times of hurt. The times that I meant to send presents because of the joy of a birth or wedding or graduation or big move. The times that I meant to cook dinner or offer a coffee date just to listen during a time of despair… a death, a house fire, a job loss. And I let the time pass, and feel like the opportunity to be a good friend passed. There are many days that I think more about what I did not do for somebody close.

Shauna, however, talks about how important it is to not beat yourself up over these moments. Additionally, that if you are probably thinking about it, then they are probably still celebrating or hurting — just by themselves.

I think about this point just as often. I am probably not going to send Christmas cards two years late or the wedding present that I missed six years ago. But I do believe that I give myself a shorter time limit than necessary. It is easy to forget that somebody else’s world has stopped during a time of pain when your life is still going at top speed; however, three weeks later, after all of the food and flowers that come with a death (for example), they may still need an ear to listen and somebody to drink coffee with. Three weeks after a friend’s death would be passed my “time table”, but that is my time table, not theirs. They may still need somebody.

The same for a celebration. I may forget to send that gift to the celebration that I did not make it to; however, two months later — after all of the newness has worn, a fresh box of diapers or a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies and easy-to-make dinners may be a breath of fresh air to that new mother or wife. Their timeline, not mine.

I hope I remember that this week, and more and more going forward when it comes to my husband, family, and friends. How do you typically deal with these moments?

“say something” is just one of the few chapters in Shauna Niequist’s book “Bittersweet” that hit home with me. I would highly suggest it.

photo credit :: Proverbs 31 Ministries