Do you feel guilty about taking time out of your schedule …just for YOU?
“If I could just schedule some ‘me-time’ …and not feel guilty about it!”
I hear this A LOT in working with my clients, and it came up again in a purely social conversation just last week.
Now, you may have zero issue with grasping hold of any you-time you can muster …in which case I suggest you cease reading.
But if you feel even the slightest twinge of uneasiness when it comes to indulging in time set aside solely for thee, then stick around.
We work hard, we spin several plates. Surely a little down-time to draw a bath, nip solo into a cafe, or simply sit quietly for ten minutes isn’t a crime?
Quite the opposite. I deem down-time for one’s self a complete necessity. Consider it a requirement, so we can recharge and keep pace.
So what scuppers the me-time plan and makes us feel so bad about it, even though we crave it? Furthermore, how can we get past those guilty pangs?
Here are a few of the guilty reasons I often come across, plus a suggested reframe to help get past the guilt and onto enjoying time to yourself:
The Guilt: “Who’s got time for that?!”
In this case, the guilt comes in the form of: “Me-time is too indulgent, I have far too much work on my plate. I should be burning the midnight oil working on my business, otherwise how else will I build my empire?”
The Reframe: Formula One racing cars need pit stops, so do you. Take the break. Take it just for you. Again, think of it as required maintenance. Your physical and mental health will thank you, and ultimately so will your business.
The Guilt: “I should be spending any spare time I have with family/friends/partner.”
Here, the guilt lies in feeling selfish to want to do something alone. Our schedules are often stretched quite thin, so you may feel you don’t spend enough time with loved ones as it is.
The Reframe: Think of taking you-time as the ‘oxygen-mask-safety-procedure’ on board an airplane. You won’t be any good to anyone else if you’ve not first sorted out your own oxygen. It’s important to invest that self-time so that you’re fortified to be your best self with those near and dear to you. We ALL need time to ourselves.
The Guilt: “I faffed about and haven’t done enough work to warrant any me-time.”
In this case, you don’t feel you deserve to take time out for you, since you didn’t make productive use of the time you had all day, or all week. Perhaps you berate yourself for not doing what you said you’d do, and as punishment you withhold the you-time. …Or, you end up wasting that coveted you-time by ruminating over everything you haven’t done.
The Reframe: Take the time anyway and use it as a building block to start regaining some trust with yourself. When we don’t do what we say we’ll do – whether it’s a tedious business task or something good for ourselves – we create a negative pattern of losing self-trust.
Have you ever noticed how good it feels when you successfully accomplish something you said you’d do, when you said you’d do it?
Aim to recreate the same experience more often during your working hours and in your personal time as well. The more you do, the more you’ll enjoy and safeguard that personal you-time.
How do I fit me-time into my life?
You-time comes in many forms and doesn’t have to be hours on end, unless you choose so!
What you can finagle depends on your unique circumstances of course, but here are some examples:
- Grant yourself a ‘Personal Away Day’ to do absolutely anything you like. If you feel you need a serious breather, then you probably do! Go for a long walk, take in a cheeky film, nip through a gallery, whatever you fancy. Rinse and repeat once a month, once a quarter, whatever you can manage.
- Get up earlier to enjoy some quiet before the rest of the world, and/or your household, starts stirring. Indulge in something just for you. Read, meditate, journal, or just sit quietly with a cuppa. This is optimal on a daily or frequent basis for regular maintenance in smaller blocks.
- Ring-fence a ‘quiet hour’ one night per week or perhaps sometime during the weekend, for you to unapologetically do whatever you like. Encourage any household members to follow suit. Make it a weekly occurrence. If everyone has their own time, they’ll be more likely to respect yours.
If this still feels extremely counterintuitive to you, start small with ten minutes here and there. Don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of guilt-free time to yourself.
Your Action Point for today: If you haven’t already, you guessed it, schedule your next you-time. Where will it be, what will you do (or not do!), and for how long?
Honour the commitment to yourself …and no ruminating allowed!
Simply enjoy. You have my permission if you need it 😉
Do you take time just for you?
P.S. Tired of feeling guilty about how you spend your time? Let’s turn things around!
Whether it’s handling a hectic schedule, sorting out a chaotic workspace, or perhaps you need a workshop for your team, let’s start a conversation.