A while ago my sister told me to sit down and breathe. Why? She asked me what I was doing that weekend. I told her everything. I told her I was going to cook, clean, blog, run some errands, write some stories, get on my Facebook page, debate my friends about current events, jump over a large building in a single bound and save the world. You know the usual. Whelp the list must have been five miles long because she asked me, “Are you taking care of you?”  I paused. I wanted to tell her I didn’t have the time to but the more I thought about it the more I realized she was right.

I don’t care if you are a student, running a household, running a company, “the butcher, the baker, or the candlestick-maker” make time for you.  We get so caught up in work, school and home life we often forget to make time for ourselves. Our mornings usually consist of getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast at home or work  and if you have kids getting them dressed, dropping them off at school and still going to work. Our afternoons are equally monotonous and that usually means eating lunch or taking the more realistic option of eating at our desks while working. Our evening usually means going home, cooking, cleaning, watching the fancy moving picture box (television) and sleeping. Yikes. Imagine doing this over and over again for the next forty years of your life without a break. So where is the time for YOU in that equation?  When you are dead? Please. And for those of you who work on your “vacation” O-o that is a no-no!  I see you. You are running yourself ragged!

We all need time to step away from the noise. I would encourage you to practice some “I love me some me time.” Thank you T.O.  What is I love me some me time? Well it is a time for you focus on you. You can rest, relax, create and just be. So trying the following:
·         Turn off the phone, email, and all things that will distract you.  Go for a walk, watch the sunrise or sunset.
·         Read a good book. I read serious books all day long so I go for Sci-Fi or incredibly raunchy.
·         Try meditation, yoga or prayer.
·         Take a nap. That is my favorite.
·         If you have to stay in your office sit at your desk during your break close your door if you have one and close your eyes. Try to clear your mind. I like to play sounds of the ocean.  Below is a link to a great YouTube video.
·        Create! Just do something.

You are probably saying to yourself, “she doesn’t know my life. I don’t have any time.” Those are excuses. The truth is if we want time we will make time. You are reading this aren’t you? So here are a few ideas to make time:

Delegate your work.
·         If you have kids that can walk and talk use child labor. If they are old enough to eat by themselves they are old enough to clean up. If you have a little ones make it a game. You are training them and they don’t even know it.
·          If you can afford to hire someone to clean up your home once at least week do it. You would be surprised to see how inexpensive it is and how much time you can save. If you have a partner or a roommate let them know you need a break and divide the cost.
·         If you are given numerous tasks that cut into your break time ask your coworkers for help. Let them know you need a break and return the favor when they need you to do the same. Folks will look out for you if admit you need a little down time. A closed mouth doesn’t get feed. So go eat.

Create time.
·         If you are a parent you can make time before the kids get up and when they are sleep. No exceptions. If they really wanted you to know something they would have already told you. They are just trying to stay up. Let them know it is your time and you are not flexible. Kids will respect boundaries if you stick by them. My kids know that Thursdays are my Scandal nights so expect takeout dinner, homework done by 6:30 p.m., showers by 7:00 and bedtime by 8:30.
·         If you are business owner, employee or a student take lunch breaks. Not working lunch breaks. I mean real lunch breaks. Slowly back away from your desk and walk away. Work will always be there. Time won’t. Go have lunch in a park!  Go for a walk! Just break the mental chain that binds you to the office chair.

Create boundaries using phone jujitsu.
·         If you are at home and someone is calling you during your time ignore it. If you can’t ignore the call keep the call short and sweet. My best advice is to never give out your number unless you have to. It saves time when you don’t.
·         If you need to give out your number get a Google phone number (see the link below). With a Google number you can have your calls routed to a mail box without giving out your personal number. If someone calls you, you can set up a special ringtone to your phone. This allows you to screen your calls. If it is a personal emergency answer it. If not, the world won’t end. It can wait.
·         If you have to give out your number let them know you will not accept calls after 9:00 pm unless it is an emergency. If they violate your terms let them know they will be ignored. In my young, single and hot days I always told potential dates that I do not answer phone calls after a certain time and I stuck with it. My mother got this tip from Nana and my mother told me the same. I am a lady darn it and you will treat me accordingly. Well guess what? They were right. It creates boundaries that people must respect. Try it with any situation. It works.

Do these tips every day or at least try a once a week and I bet you will feel better for it. If you can’t make time for you I suggest you check your priorities. You must put you first. You are the most important person in your life. Remember our bodies, minds and souls need a break. If we do not make time for ourselves we will experience burn out. Being burnt out means we are useless to ourselves and everyone else. So make you some love me some me time. Enjoy and live.

Relaxation Meditation (Sunset Over the Ocean)

Google phone number

Don’t forget to follow the 100 Days to a Brand New You Challenge here.