Dear Debby, How to organize time for myself?  Sincerely, I’m SO Stressed



Dear I’m SO Stressed,

     Finding time for yourself is super important but it is often forgotten amongst the million other things we do in our lives.  Congratulations though, you’ve already completed step one! You have realized that you should have time for yourself.  It’s harder than you think.

    I think the easiest way to think about it is by giving it the same weight as the other priorities in your life.  Give it the same value as your schoolwork.  Give it the same value as your job.  That doesn’t mean don’t do your homework or quit your job.  That’s not really an option in most cases.  

     Before you start saying “Debby that’s crazy, I can’t put me-time on the same level as homework,” hear me out.  When you are stressed or mentally unwell, are you really giving your best work? Chances are the answer is no.

     I understand that it feels like there is not enough time in the day, especially when school assignments are due and your parents are breathing down your neck about chores but, there is always time.  For me, time for myself means I am alone, for others I know that being with others makes them happy.

     If you are like me and need that time alone, when things get really busy I find that I turn things I normally do into me time.  For example, I will play music when I shower, or I will sit out on my porch and eat a meal.  You can’t do that for every meal though, sometimes the family wants to see you.  

    If you find time for yourself involves being with other people, meal times are perfect.  Put the phone, homework or anything else you might have with you at meal time and eat with your family/roommates.  You could also take a  break and ask to go for a walk or do something with a member of your household.

    Sometimes when things get really, really, hectic, the only me-time you may have will be during a break.  I have heard that taking a 15 minute break every hour is best but, I’ll be honest. I don’t do that.  And you don’t have to either.  It’s all about balance and finding what is right for you.  Sometimes that means you only need a 5 minute break every 2 hours or sometimes that means you aren’t able to work on something that night and that is OK.

  I think I have been rambling a fair amount so I will give you the most important things.

  1. You come first
  2. Taking care of yourself is important
  3. Schedule time for yourself like you would schedule homework and studying
  4. Pay attention to what your body and mind are telling you
  5. Self care will help your performance in other areas of your life