If you’re like me, you probably spend most of your time thinking about the things you actually have time to do versus the things you wish you had time to do. As a matter of fact, if you ever ask me how I’m doing, I’ll probably say, ‘Great! I’m just SO busy all the time’.
Oh, you say that too?
The thing about flourishing in life is that it requires intentionality in all areas – work, family, friendships, health etc. And in order to live this life, we must learn to how to pump the brakes and properly take care of ourselves. After all, I think we can each attest to the fact that we become increasingly inefficient in the area of our lives that matter most when we put self-care on the back burner.
Yes, self-care most definitely includes regular exercise, healthy eating and getting enough sleep, but it also includes identifying things that bring us joy and then create time to make them happen. Examples of these joy-giving activities may be reading, playing music, writing, and physical or outdoor activities.
You might quickly respond by claiming that you don’t have time for that. Your work, family and other demands take up too much time and it would simply be irresponsible to spend time reading, writing or whatever else brings you joy. Yes, maybe you can’t spend an hour reading or going on a leisurely walk every day, but I bet you can spare 5 or 10 minutes. We all have pockets of time throughout the day that could be spent on something you love. After all, aren’t those the time pockets we typically spend scrolling through social media anyway?
These minutes are found while we’re waiting. Waiting for a meeting to start, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting at the doctor’s office. The minutes we find in the cracks of our days can add up to significant time over a week or month. Plus, when you spend those minutes investing in things that bring you joy you are ultimately investing in yourself and your well-being.
Here are a few ideas for using those minutes.
- Always keep a book with you. If you’re a few minutes early for an appointment, sit in your car and read a few pages.
- Take advantage of your lunch hour. Use that time to get out of your office and take a walk. I guarantee you will come back refreshed and more productive. Research shows that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside the office because creativity can take a hit when you don’t exchange environments. In fact, Bristol University found that when employees exercised during the day, they returned to the job with a 41% increase in motivation and a 21% increase in concentration.
- Journal throughout your day. Writing down your experiences throughout the day can help you process your thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t always have to take a lot of time, it can be just a quick few minutes.
Proper self-care is a choice we have to make each day. And in the long run it will become a way of life that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Spend some time today discovering what activities bring you joy and begin noticing the small chunks of time you have throughout the day to make them happen.
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