Self- care and me-time are simply not indispensible. In fact, making time for yourself is actually an essential ingredient if you want to thrive in your life and your business.
Here are four steps to creating time for yourself and the benefits they can lead to in your business and your life:
- Examine your mindset about me-time. Are you still struggling with an inner critic who tells you that self-care is a pie-in-the-sky luxury? If you want to truly make time for yourself, it’s essential to stop thinking of (and treating) me-time as something that’s nice-if-you-can-get-to-it and start approaching it as a necessity and a priority. Remember, the time you invest in yourself is time invested in LEADING your life (and your business) instead of chasing along behind it.
- Identify what you need. What DO you need to be you at your best? In my Emotional Eating program, I call these non-negotiables. Many women who have let self-care drop off their radar haven’t thought about this in a very long time. Make a list and include everything you can think of—from vitamins to physical activity, to sex and laughter, reading and consistent time off (just to give you a few ideas). Give yourself enough time to be creative and expansive here. Now examine your list. Where are you consistently feeding your spirit and where do you need to invest more time and energy? When you are well-fueled and at your best, you bring more energy, zest, and purpose to the work that you do. You will be less tempted by unhealthy substitutes like stress eating or mindless time-wasting that just leave you feeling more “behind.” Many women find that simply having clarity about what they need and where they want to spend their energy leads to better stress management more effective action in business and in life.
- Find your energy leaks and fix them. If you are short on me-time then you are probably also spending your time and energy spinning your wheels because you are not well fueled. When we’re tired, stressed, or overworked, we don’t tend to be very productive. However, busy business owners often keep forging ahead (because there is “so much to do!”). They tend to stay in “action” that gets progressively less effective. This leads to time and energy that gets frittered away. To find possible energy leaks, ask yourself what you do when you are too tired to be “productive.” Many women who don’t have enough hours in the day also “lose time” micromanaging their email, their social media accounts, and other tasks that take whatever time you give them. Be sure to look for time and energy leaks at the end of the day too. Does your “downtime” really rejuvenate you? What if you did something really lovely for yourself instead? We know that workers who take regular breaks are more productive and enjoy their work more. Try scheduling 15 minutes of time for yourself (using the list you created above) several times a day.
- Put it on the calendar. If you are struggling with step number one, this may be a difficult step for you too, but by all means, don’t skip it. You are a resourceful, high-achieving business owner. You know that for something to happen there has to be a space for it to occur. Leveraging the same skills and strengths that you use to grow your business is a must. Schedule your me-time and honor that appointment the way you would if it was with anybody else. When you value yourself and your time (instead of trying to wedge yourself into an empty space that never occurs) it can create an important mind shift. Others pick up on the value you place on yourself. As you show more respect for your time and energy, you may find that they do too.
Creating Me-time can be a challenge for many women juggling their own businesses and their busy lives, but doing so is more than a worthwhile investment.
Take good care,