“In truth I suspect that merely slowing down is not a very satisfying answer. What I need has less to do with my pace of life than my peace of life. At any speed, I crave a deep and lasting inner peace. And if it’s solace I’m after, I don’t need to pace myself like a turtle, change jobs or set up house on a quiet island. It is usually frenetic living, not high energy, that robs my peace of mind.”
~ Steve Goodier
Time for ourselves is not some airy-fairy feel good concept. Time for ourselves is as necessary as breathing. It helps us to stay tuned into to who we are and what’s important to us. Time for ourselves recharges our batteries. It fills us with nurture and new ideas. It helps soothe and heal us.
Often it isn’t that we don’t have time, it’s that we’ve become a very low priority in our own lives.
Here are ten simple hacks to reclaim some of your precious time just for you:
1. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of a grocery shopping trip to have a cup of coffee and flick through a magazine at a cafe. I have girlfriends who have become speed shoppers, racing through their chores to get lovely long cafe time as their reward.
2. Sign up for a class one night a week. Not to give yourself yet one more thing to do, but to escape for a while and spend time on something you’d enjoy learning such as dancing, mosaic making, chainsaw ice-sculpture or Italian cooking. Often when we’re home we devolve into house-keeping duties or mindless screen time. Giving ourselves an outing can be refreshing and it invests time in ourselves and our development.
3. Get up half an hour earlier. Spend that time journalling, meditating, busting a few yoga moves, pulling an oracle or tarot card, or planning your day. Enjoy a cuppa, take a big breath and then let the day begin AFTER you’ve had some precious time to yourself. Not sure how to start? Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has great instructions for Morning Pages. Why not begin there!
4. Turn off the TV tonight. Sit down and write a story. Or a poem. Or a song. Stories fire up our imagination, help us heal the past, and let us dream the future. If you enjoy the process, come back and write some more one night each week. Writing not your thing? Go take a long soak in the tub!
5. Delete or minimise your social media profiles and screen time. Use some of your time saved to go for a walk. You could ramble around the neighbourhood, drive to a park or beach, or wander through the city. You can walk in the morning, evening or even in your lunch break. Breathe. Look. Listen. And feel how your whole soul begins to unwind…
6. Delegate a chore you don’t enjoy. It could be cleaning, gardening or shopping. You could do it once for a break, or make it a regular thing. Pay someone if you have to, use an online service or use a barter system. Give yourself that saved time. Use your few hours alone to see that movie no-one else wants to see, to go to the Gallery, or to wander through the Farmers’ Markets or the shops you love.
7. Go to bed early with a book. Books are like magical carpets that take you to other places and times.
8. Delete the games off your phones and screens.They might seem relaxing, but in truth they are a huge time suck, and don’t contribute to lowered stress levels or heightened personal satisfaction. Don’t believe me? Commit to a month without them and you’ll see what I mean.
9. Meal Plan and Batch Cook Use one day to plan and prep all the meals for the coming week. Cook large batches of food, such as soups, pasta bakes, bolognese and even vegetable and salad prep for later in the week. Or use a meal provider who can bring pre-prepared meals to your door each week. If you’re up for it, combine doing the laundry and general house-keeping chores with your cooking day to get your home ship-shape before the week ahead. This saves so much time each week! How to use the time saved? Start or recommence a craft or project. Maybe you loved embroidery as a child. Or scrapbooking. Maybe you’ve been thinking about putting a vegetable garden in the back yard, or researching the family tree. Take some time to put your materials together, and then spend a little time each week devoted to this craft or project. Let it become a kind of good medicine in your life.
10. Say NO to something you don’t want to do, and then let the time you would have spent with others be yours alone. How often have you found yourself out with work colleagues or friends, wishing instead that you were home on the couch, watching your favourite show and eating soup and toast in your pyjamas? Your time really is precious. Start saying NO when it feels like duty or hard work, and use that time on something you’d prefer to do!
Your life is precious. Don’t let it slip by without filling some of it with what you love.
You deserve to be a priority in your own life! Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations,
Nicole <3 xoxo