In today’s world, everyone is juggling work and life responsibilities. Sometimes, it seems there’s no time left for yourself after attending to work, family, and caregiving. If you feel like a hamster on a wheel, congratulations. It means you’re alive. It probably makes you feel productive, but if you slow down your pace and your mind, you can accomplish more and end the day less frazzled. Here are three ways to make yourself a priority starting right now.
1. Learn to Say No
Do you find yourself saying, “Yes,” when you really want to say, “No”? Mayo Clinic gives you permission to decline things you don’t want to do. If you accept an assignment or a task out of a sense of guilt, rethink your decision. Is it something you really should do? If not, it’s acceptable to pass on the opportunity, especially when it’s a social engagement that you don’t want to attend. Have you heard the expression, “No is a complete sentence”? It means that “no” is enough. You don’t have to feel pressure to give a long, drawn-out explanation or rattle off a list of caregiving obligations.
2. Find Time for Yourself
Make time for yourself. Whether it’s working out or working a crossword puzzle, find time for activities to restore balance and reinvigorate you. Schedule time for leisure activities:
- At work, instead of checking your email every five minutes, check it four or five times a day so that you don’t lose time switching gears all day long. Use the times savings to leave your desk and take a short walk outside to clear your mind.
- At home, schedule at least one-half hour of uninterrupted time each day for yourself. Keep lists of errands, and consolidate the errands to make time for yourself.
- Enlist help from family and friends. It shows no weakness to ask others to pitch in, and it’s liberating and empowering.
3. Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind
Decluttering your house can reduce your stress level. Psychology Today provides tips on how to declutter your house, one step at a time. Start with a small area and clear a little clutter each week. Once you have a clutter-free environment, you’ll find it easier to keep it that way.
A balanced life is essential when caregiving. When you take time to restore balance to your life, everyone benefits. So, resolve to make yourself a priority.
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