Think, Live, September 21, 2018

How To ‘Magically’ Create More Time In Your Day

Here is my favorite little face in the whole world.

In the picture she is 18 months old and brings me so much joy.

But I struggle SO hard with the ‘no me time’ that comes with being a Mum.

How can I love something so much but desperately crave being away from her? She completely fills me up, sometimes I think my heart will actually burst and at the same time I’m desperate to not be a Mum for like, 3 seconds. It’s not too much to ask right?

When I have a second to myself, I do everything as fast and as efficiently as possible so I can maximise the small amount of time that I get, but, actually, I’ve had this completely backwards…

Let me explain…

Whether we are stay at home Mums or working full time and trying to find some work / life balance, the same rules apply.

We all have some ‘free’ time each day, even if we are slammed and working towards a deadline or juggling after school activities and pick ups for 5 kids. It’s about making the free time count. Being present, setting objectives and taking time to really check in with yourself makes the WORLD of difference. Here’s my top 6 tips for how to get more ‘me time’ aka: magically creating more time in your day.

1. Most importantly – get some bloody rest. Nothing good comes when we are exhausted. Sleep. Please. I resisted this for AGES as a new Mum but once I finally surrendered to the sleep I started feeling better. I’m not talking about having one nap and feeling like you have ticked the box and should now start to feel better, I’m talking about weeks, even months of resting. I was running on adrenaline and cortisol for so long when my little lady was born that it took me over 2 months of prioritising sleep to start to feel like a real person again. So if you are reading this right now, and your little one is asleep, save this for later and go and have a bloody nap!!

2. Whatever you are doing, or need to do, find joy it in. Be present, stop trying to do everything at once and look for those little moments of joy. You can still be efficient with your time, I’m not saying do everything as if you have taken valium, but appreciate what you are doing. Somethings are easier than others – being present and enjoying washing your hair is definitely easier than finding the joy in paying bills, but once you master this you will start to feel as though things are more in balance. Because, actually – doing these boring life tasks are me-time too; maybe not quite as cool as getting a massage or having a catch up with a mate, but still, it’s time away from Mum-ing or working so find the joy in it.

Tip: If you get frustrated by doing ‘boring’ tasks like folding laundry, check out Mari Kon. She has a beautiful way of approaching organising, and has taught me to slow down, be grateful (that I do have laundry to fold!!), and bring more joy into the small tasks I need to do as a Mum.

3. Master transitions – I love Brendon Burchard’s ‘Release tension, set intensions’ approach. Each time you move from one activity to the next take a mini moment for yourself. Release tension, and set a quick intension for the next activity you move onto. Decide what this looks like for you – maybe you simply sit and close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths, or do a yoga stretch and concentrate on your heart centre and breath for 2 minutes, or do a couple of deep squats to get your heart rate up, and then take a moment to think about what you are doing next and how you want to show up for that task, conversation or person. Rushing from one task to the next drains energy and makes us feel as though we are stumbling through our day and through life. Taking a mini time-out before you move on makes you feel more in control, and less exhausted.

4. If you feel as though you are drowning in a sea of to-dos, gift yourself with some time for planning and goal setting. I say ‘gift’ because this is actually really important me-time that we can easily talk ourselves out of. A great time for this is Sunday evening – make a quick list of things that are important for you to accomplish this week, and set out some goals. And prioritise! What’s actually important and whats just faff? Deleting emails, scrolling social media, picking at that corn on your foot are not important tasks! Once you have a clear list of what you want to achieve this week make sure you do give yourself some down time to chill out, but just make sure its quality chill out time, and not something that isn’t actually restorative at all (like scrolling insta on your phone or watching really shit TV)

5. Every morning when you wake up think – what do I need today? Almost every day my answer is the same – some down time away from everyone where I can just close my eyes for a few minutes. But maybe you need to connect with someone, or get in a walk, or go easy on yourself. This isn’t ‘what do I have to get done’ – this will (hopefully) happen anyhow, this is about what you need to be the best Mum / girlfriend / partner / employee…what do you need to show up as your higher self and to be of service to the people that love you.

6. And finally, when you really feel like shit, your beyond exhausted, and it feels as though the whole universe is against you, do something nice for someone else. I know it sounds completely counterintuitive, and it is, but stop for a moment and find something small to do for someone else. It might be as simple as dropping your Mum a note to say I love you, responding to a message you have left for ages with a beautiful heart felt reply, or telling your partner how much he (or she) means to you (even if it doesn’t feel entirely organic right now!) It’s a beautiful, amazing, almost selfish! little trick to full yourself up with good stuff like love and joy and appreciation.

When I focus on these things I get out of the victim mentality and I feel empowered, nourished mentally and my life feels more in balance – it feels like there is more time for me. I obviously haven’t created extra time (except maybe through the prioritising tasks), but changing how I feel about the time I have makes me happier and actually makes it feel like I’ve managed to magically gift myself a bit of extra me-time.

Print this out, stick it on your wall and use it as a guide. I’m not joking. Being a Mum (or having a crazy work schedule, or both) is tough work – yes rewarding and beautiful and wonderful but the little critters are tough task masters and your need to find some time for yourself.

Photo credit:  Rassic Photography, Kinga Cichewicz,  Icons8 team, KonMari

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