We all hit cycles in our lives when we desperately seek more ME time. With everything that we all juggle on a daily basis, it seems like the easiest thing to put on hold is ourselves. When embarking on our road trip I dreamed of learning new skills and languages along the way, reading countless books, listening to new podcasts, practicing daily yoga, etc... Yet, somehow, even though I am not working these days, my days are filled with endless tasks and my roots have been begging for attention for months. All the extra time I dreamt of having proved to be nothing but a fantasy.
Growing up in Florida, in a middle-class family, with a couple of knee surgeries under my belt, skiing skipped over my childhood, and adulthood as well. In order to ensure that our kids wouldn't miss out on this winter sport, we put them on skis as early as the age of three and they have grown to love swooshing down the mountains we visit. My husband took snowboarding lessons later in his adult life and since then he joins in on the fun. As a result, skiing is the one family activity that I am not a part of which leaves me some glorious days all to myself.
With Covid in play, massages and yoga at ski resorts will not be in my future this ski season, but here's what will be:
Starting today, I have committed to these goals through the end of January:
Meditate 10 minutes each morning
Read one book every two weeks
Reserve wine for weekends (which begin on Thursdays!)
Watch one classic movie per week, alone
Sign up for a virtual personal growth/spiritual awakening type class, once per week
Spend 10 minutes each day on Duolingo, brushing up on my Italian which I haven't used since the Spring
Take care of my roots
It is crucial that we all carve out time for ourselves or else we just lose ourselves. Here are some tips on how to make some ME time:
- Don't wait until you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown to do something nice for yourself. Try to include a small daily gesture towards your sanity into your schedule. Whether it is a 10-minute meditation or an hour of exercise, find something that is realistic to maintain regularly. Also, allow yourself a grander act of self-kindness on a weekly basis - something you can look forward to. Time with a family member or friend, reading in bed, sleeping in... anything that you would really look forward to. If you have these constants in your life it is much easier to avoid a breakdown. I have learned the hard way when it's time to focus on myself. I feel stressed, snappy, and just downright cranky when weeks have passed with no time spent on myself.
- Make a list of all the things you would ideally love to do for yourself. I made a list of all the things I would love to incorporate into my ME schedule. I then reviewed the list and removed the things that would not be realistic to achieve (like weekly Italian zoom tutoring sessions) and I edited some that may have been a stretch (like reading one book per week). I was left with some meaningful goals that I feel I can successfully accomplish.
- Set a start and end date to carry out your plan. Having a window set to carry out your goals will help make things more manageable. If you aim for a year plan, that may end up backfiring. Start small. You can always change things along the way.
- Get your significant other on board. It is much easier to be supported when you express your needs to those closest to you. I find that my husband is much more understanding when he knows why I am locked in my room for an hour than if I just disappear. Share your goals with those you live with and let them know when you may no longer be available.
- Allow for 1-2 days of deviation. Life comes with a lot of demands and some days are just fuller than others. Keep your daily goals focused on a five-day track, rather than a seven-day plan. This will ensure that you can still feel successful and that your goals are in line with the realities of your life.
Shoot me a message in the chatbox and let me know what goals you'd like to set for yourself or what you currently incorporate into your ME schedule. If cooking or baking is a hobby of yours, check out some of my recipes under the Quarantine Kitchen tab on my site. Whatever you decide to do, I'd love to hear from you and share your journey towards more ME time.