Self-Care In Action: Reclaim Your Time

This isn't your normal blog post. This is an action post. Ready? Let’s get started!

Open a new Google calendar, or your planner, or anything that has hours of the day on it. We’re going to rearrange your life so that you can’t hide anymore.

Put in the time you wake up.

Block off the time you shower, eat breakfast, get dressed – whatever you do before leaving the house.

Block off your commute if you work outside the home.

Block off dropping the kids at school/daycare.

Put in the time you work.

Don’t leave your lunchtime open. I see you. BLOCK IT OFF.

Stay at home moms and work at home moms – block off your basic routine. When do you work? When do you run errands? Block it all off.

Now the commute home, the kiddo pick up.

After school activities.

Dinner.

Helping with homework.

Cleaning up.

Bath/teeth brushing/story time/bedtime/ten million glasses of water time.

Look at that calendar. That’s what your life looks like on paper. This is why you’re tired, pissed off, forgetful. This is why self-care doesn’t happen unless you put it on the calendar and create actual room for it.

BUT

There’s a way to make this calendar work for you instead of against you. Starting today, right now (NOT next Monday and NOT January 1st) you are going to put yourself on the calendar. What do I mean by that?

Step 1:

Look at what you already have down. Try to make those time blocks as specific as you can. Then look and see what absolutely has to be done by you and what could be either totally passed off or could be a shared responsibility. Ask whomever you need to ask and set up whatever you need to put in place. Make the corresponding changes to your calendar. Maybe nothing at all changed – that’s okay.

Step 2:

Make a list of the things you need for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Doctor, dentist, and optometrist visits go on the list. Lunch with a friend goes on the list. Therapy appointments, time outside, laughter, spiritual study – whatever it is that you need, it goes on the list.

Step 3:

Put yourself on the calendar. None of those things on your list will happen unless you stick your elbows out and make some room in your life. You are going to reclaim your time using this calendar. Make the appointments and block off that time.

MAKE APPOINTMENTS WITH YOURSELF AND BLOCK OFF THAT TIME.

The five minutes of singing, or breathing, or silence in the car before you drive home - CLAIM IT.

That half an hour you always wanted to take a bath but could never find the time? CLAIM IT.

Twenty minutes for journaling.

An hour for organizing your closet.

45 minutes to take an exercise class.

Whatever it is that you need, you need to claim the time for it.

Step 4:

Guard your time. The calendar doesn’t work unless you work it. Your journaling time is just as important as your doctor appointment. The time that you have reclaimed as yours is just that – YOURS. Things that conflict with that will need to be moved, someone else will need to handle them, or the answer will be no.

Graeme Seabrook