A while ago, I made a decision that I wouldn’t answer my phone after 9pm. The reason for this decision was that I had become conditioned to associate late night calls with something being terribly wrong. It was nobody’s fault but I knew that every time the phone woke me, it would set me into a panic that took ages to calm down from.
A short while ago, I discovered that the same panic had started to appear on weekends when I was overcome by the fear that there was too much to do and no time to get anything done. It brought me straight back to childhood battles with something my mother used to term ‘mondayitis’. Once I came to this realisation, I knew I had a choice. Either, I could keep approaching weekends and become overwhelmed with fear, or I could do something about it. As you can probably guess, I chose the latter. I decided to re-prioritise myself in my weekends instead of fixating on trying to fit everyone and everything else in, only to reach the end of the weekend exhausted instead of refreshed. So I made a new rule, I decided that Sundays were for me. I blocked out my Sundays to look after myself. I gave myself the opportunity and time to recharge, to play in the kitchen, go for walks along the beach, splash paints on canvas, read trashy books and tend to my garden. And yes, for all of you questioning how on earth I can do something like that every weekend, I’m the first to acknowledge that sometimes it can be hard to take a whole day to myself. After all, sometimes life just gets in the way. But the fear that there’s not enough time to get the important things done just highlights how poorly my time was being prioritised and how much I was putting other things ahead of myself.
I know it sounds indulgent and completely self absorbed to set aside an entire day just for me! I mean, what about all those friends and relatives I haven’t seen in weeks? What about that mounting pile of tasks glaring at me from my computer screen? What about all those grown up things I should be busy preoccupying myself with?
Here’s the funny thing – there’s always enough time. It’s just a question of how you choose to use it and what you believe is important. It’s your choice to spend your time watching TV, doing things for other people or bending to what you believe you are obliged to do. However, one thing I’ve now learnt is just how important that me time is. I need to recharge in order to be a better me who is capable of being a better friend, relative, colleague, employee and general person. Sure, you might disappoint somebody by not showing up to an event, but was it really worth going if you’re just going to sit in a corner sulking the whole time? Trust me, you’d much rather be in my company when I’ve had my downtime to recharge than when I’ve been deprived of it!
So make the decision to take time for yourself and acknowledge that you’re worthy of it. Whether it’s just 5 minutes with a cup of tea, 10 minutes meditating or listening to calming music or a whole day just for you, give it a go and see just how much of a positive impact it has on your life!