By Pamela Parseghian
Your day often includes work, school and home obligations, so it’s hard to make time to take a break and unwind. But the thing is, the busier you are, the more important it is to take care of yourself. Here are a few tips on how to find much-needed time for yourself so you can not only feel better, but also stay motivated and focused.
The most important factor to finding time for yourself is to put it on your calendar or to-do list. If you have no to-do list, make one in order to first prioritize your tasks and second to carve out time to take a break.
Make it a treat.
When you finish your priority tasks, reward yourself. Figure out what you really want to do with that time so the treat is worthwhile. Would you like to take a nap on the couch, have your nails painted or go play a game of basketball? Whatever it is, make sure it is relaxing and away from computers and phones.
Don’t go it alone.
One of the best ways to ensure you make “me” time is to plan an activity with a partner. If you tell your best friend, significant other or neighbor that you will meet that person, you’re more likely to do it because you want to keep your commitment.
Go for instant gratification.
If you spend time doing something that offers some kind of reward right away, such as cooking a meal or squeezing in a quick workout, you will feel better about taking time away from work. For instance, right after you cook, you can dig right in to your creation. And who doesn’t feel better after a workout? In fact, you may find you feel so much better after you exercised, you’ll finish your work faster than if you never worked out at all.
Make it a regular thing.
Sign up for an exercise class – or a different type of non-scholastic class you might enjoy - that meets the same time every week for at least a few months so your break becomes a habit that you do without even thinking.
Put it all together.
Now think how you can combine all the suggestions mentioned above. Is there one thing that you can do regularly that’s pleasurable, offers an immediate reward and is done with others? Make a list, pick one and commit to making the time.
Now step away from the computer and enjoy yourself!
Pam Parseghian is a freelance writer based in the New York metro area.