This article highlights 10 ways to make more time for yourself; whether it’s time to pursue your passions, or just some much-needed quiet time to relax. This post is sponsored by one of my favorite wines, Wente Vineyards, and their Make Time for Music Initiative. #MakeTime
You have responsibilities, a full-time job, children, or a to-do list the size of your arm.
Your planner is packed with meetings, deadlines, and appointments. But, most likely, there’s not a single thing in there about making some time for yourself.
And if you responded to that with a “time for myself? what is that?” and a laugh, then it’s time to start.
Everyone needs time for themselves. Time to reflect. Time to relax. Time to pursue their hobbies and passions.
Even if it seems impossible, there are ways to make more time for yourself.
‘Me Time’ actually makes us more productive, minimizes stress, strengthens our relationships, and reboots our brains.
Learn ten ways to find more time for yourself below.
10 Ways to Make More Time for Yourself When You’re Busy Adulting
First thing’s first. Having a clear, organized schedule will set your mind at ease and lead to a productive week. If you’re someone that likes things particularly orderly, you can schedule out your me time in advance or see where there’s room to take it (which can help ensure you actually take it). Either way, prioritize what’s important and learn to say no or delegate, more on that below.
Say No (It’s Okay, We Promise).
It really is okay to say no. Your time is valuable, and it should be spent doing things that bring your life value. It’s okay if you don’t really feel like going to that brunch with the other moms. It’s okay if you get invited out, but what you really need is some quiet time at home in yoga pants. And it’s okay if your friend asked you to help them move but you really do not have the time.
Don’t make yourself feel guilty for saying no. You can also always offer help in another form, such as saying “I’m really sorry I can’t help you move next week, but I can come over for a few hours and help you pack this week.” When turning down an invite, you can politely decline but say something like “I’m really sorry I can’t make your party. Let me send you over a nice bottle of wine for it, though.” Of course, that is optional and a simple “I can’t, I’m sorry” will do just as well.
Delegate, delegate, delegate! Ask for help! I hate asking for help but I am learning to change this, because: ya’ll, everyone needs help sometimes. Ask for help from friends and family and thank them and treat them well. If you can’t find help, pay for it. It’s worth it. Hire a babysitter, a virtual assistant, or someone to clean the house or mow your lawn. You can find someone for anything these days, just check TaskRabbit.
Turn It Off.
Step away from your phone and your computer. How many times do you finally get an afternoon to yourself, but spend the majority of it responding to work e-mails or mindlessly scrolling Instagram? Social media has its benefits, but it can also entrap us into looking at memes for an hour. Finding ways to make more time for yourself starts with limiting distractions. You’re making time for you, not for reading the recent Facebook drama (although very tempting, I know).
This seems obvious, but I still feel it should be reiterated. It’s one thing to find ways to make more time for yourself, but it’s another thing to utilize that time to its full advantage. Learn to truly relax. For me, yoga and meditation have completely changed my life. Even if yoga or meditation isn’t for you, breathing exercises learned in these practices can be incredibly helpful for optimal relaxation. And remember, meditation can come in many forms, from gardening to cooking. What makes you feel truly relaxed? Answer that question. Then: do more of that.
Give Yourself Permission, Not Guilt.
If you’re anything like me, you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Even if you really need it. How could I just be sitting here when there’s this huge pile of laundry haunting me?! Take a breath, and take a pass. It’s okay. You’re allowed a little bit of time. That pile of clothes isn’t going anywhere. Today, for example, I was busy all day and extremely stressed out. I really wanted to just sit outside, read a book, and have a glass of wine. But I knew I needed to do X, Y, and Z. I gave myself the permission to go sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. And it felt amazing. It was kind of a ‘Time Out,’ if you will, and I felt so much better after relaxing with a glass of one of my favorite summer wines, Wente’s Morning Fog Chardonnay. Wente is what inspired me to actually write this post. I was moved by Wente’s Make Time for Music campaign. Fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente combined his passion of both wine and music to create a life he loved. And I would certainly love to go to one of Wente’s summer concerts, they have an amazing line-up! How do you #MakeTime?
Take a Little Time Each Day.
You have 5 minutes, right? Find ways to make more time for yourself by devoting 5 minutes a day to doing something you love that brings you value and joy. Just 5 minutes. Even if you have the craziest schedule imaginable, that can still be done. Spend 5 minutes listening to a song, writing a poem, going on a walk, or meditating in a quiet room.
When thinking of ways to make more time for yourself, think of what will bring you value. What are your passions? What brings you joy? My me time is spent either cooking, gardening, doing yoga, volunteering, or learning something new. All of these things bring me value and make me a better person. Discover your passions and what makes you you. You are more than just a mom, an employee, a husband, a care-taker, or an entrepreneur.
Creativity comes in many forms. Cooking, writing, painting, gardening, dancing, crafting. No matter the medium, the end result is the same. The benefits of expressing and engaging in something creative has been widely studied and shown to decrease stress and anxiety, promote joy, and aid in healing. Music, for example, has been scientifically shown to improve stress by calming neural activity in the brain. Music Therapy is used to address and heal both emotional and physical issues with great success. If you don’t think of yourself as a ‘creative person,’ that’s okay. You don’t have to be good at painting or playing the guitar. There are so many forms of creativity, and what is more important is the fact that you’re doing it (and enjoying it, too). Your drawing doesn’t have to be hung in a museum. Adult Coloring Books, for example, are just as fun.
Reflect, and reconnect. Reconnect with that passion or hobby of yours you haven’t had the time to do anymore. Dust off that old guitar or take that motorcycle out of storage. Reconnect with nature. Listen to that album you love from your favorite band. Basically, just do more of the things that make you feel like you.