Are you wondering how to make time for yourself? It turns out the secret lies in the little things. Here are 12 tiny tips that will help you create space in your everyday life.
I’ve always believed in the importance of taking time for yourself—time to sit, to breathe, and to reflect—but lately, this desire has evolved into something more.
My second child was born earlier this year and my small business (also known as my third baby!) is growing. I’m grateful for these blessings, but there’s no denying that the demands on my time are increasing.
If this had been a decade ago, I know I would have been on the fast-track to burnout. I used to believe that the key to handling busyness and overwhelm was increased productivity.
Fortunately, I’ve since learned a lot about finding balance in life. “Me time” is no longer a luxury. Instead, it’s essential for my well-being. I know that I’m no use to anyone if I don’t make time for myself a priority.
This is why I was delighted when Ellie Roscher, the author of 12 Tiny Things, reached out to me earlier this month. She wanted to share some of her tips for making time for yourself, and I’m so excited to pass on her wise words and beautiful writing on to you.
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This is a guest post written by Ellie Roscher, the author of 12 Tiny Things, Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life.
The Value Of Space For Yourself
Some say music is the space between notes. Some say the space bar is the most important key on the computer because it gives meaning and rhythm to the other marks on the page.
Notice the space between inhaling and exhaling. The margins of your book. The empty slot on your schedule. There is space between where we are and where we want to go.
When we are bogged down and overly busy, we can lose connection to our truest self. When we create space, potential, power and peace present themselves.
This is where new things can come into being. If we want more peace, we can broaden the space in our lives, reside in it, appreciate it, and tend to ourselves.
12 Tiny Ways To Make Time For Yourself
At 12 Tiny Things, where we find rootedness for life on the go, we start with creating space. Sometimes space presents itself, other times we have to take a machete to our lives and fight for it with sweat and tears.
We overfill our lives, hoping more will make us feel like we are enough. It takes courage to say no to others and yes to ourselves. During a difficult year, and during the holiday season even more so. Yet we cannot not show up for others when we are exhausted and spread thin.
When I am acting from my healed self, I treat my calendar like a moral document and let it tell the truth about how I am spending my life.
Yet I struggle to say no to things. I struggle to prioritize my needs. I struggle to find space in my life to breathe. If you are like me, here are 12 tiny things to try:
1. Choose a time of day, day of the week, week of the month or month of the year and reserve it on your calendar. Don’t fill it with anything extra. When the time comes, check in with your body and being to see what it really needs to be nurtured and rejuvenated.
2. Donate ten things you don’t use. Notice if the extra space you created can inspire you to create space in your calendar, too.
3. Do some journaling around how you spend your time. Who are you with, where are you and what are you doing when you are the most happy? When you have the calmest mind? When you find yourself refreshed and hopeful? Can you take one tiny step to prioritize what came up for you?
Related Post: Self Care Journal Prompts For When Times Are Tough
4. Keep a wellness calendar, or choose a color on your digital calendar to signal wellness. When you schedule something that is just for you, mark it. When you are feeling most depleted, notice if your wellness calendar is a bit bare.
5. Schedule a chime on your phone for a random time in the day. When you hear the chime, step away from what you are doing and take three slow, full, conscious breaths.
6. Say no to one calendar invite that you know is not necessary and will not bring you joy. In saying no to that, what might you be saying yes to?
7. What do you like to do and where do you like to be when you are by yourself? Can you put alone time on your calendar and protect it?
8. Declare a Nothing Day for you and your family. Stay in your pajamas and hide your screens.
Related Post: How to Create a Culture of Slow Living
9. Set a bedtime that would help you to wake up feeling rested and stick to it.
10. Choose a daily activity like applying lotion, drinking a glass of water or washing dishes and do it mindfully and affectionately. Can a simple, repeated task become a time of renewal?
11. Take some time to look at your weekly calendar. What do you notice? Is how you spend your days how you want to spend your life?
12. Journal about how you would like to spend your day five years from now. What is one shift you can make now to move toward that self?
So often, at the heart of overfilling our calendars is the myth that we are not enough, and by doing more for others we can be more ourselves. Identifying that lie can help us notice it and let go of it.
We can replace the myth with mantras like, “Do less, be more.” Together, we can be brave enough to carve out space for ourselves and enjoy more balanced, joyful days.
12 Tiny Things is available for pre-order today!
Ellie Roscher is the author of 12 Tiny Things, Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life. Her writing also appears in the Baltimore Review, Inscape Magazine, Bookology Magazine and elsewhere. Ellie hosts the Unlikely Conversations podcast, is a certified yoga instructor and teaches at The Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota Writing Project.
Through curious inquiry, commitment to the sacred ordinary and artistic collaboration, her work accompanies people to a more centered, whole, and embodied self. Ellie holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Theology from Luther Seminary. Follow her at @ellieroscher and find out more at ellieroscher.com.
Where do you find time for yourself? Let us know in the comments!