It’s easy to get overwhelmed, between work and other responsibilities in your life. If you feel close to burnout, it’s a sign that you need to lighten that mental light and make more time for yourself. Don’t worry — the entire world won’t fall apart. Downtime can help improve you plan for your future, relax, and become mentally stronger.
You just need to find new ways to consciously set aside time for you, and you alone. Even if the urge to be productive bubbles up, with time, if you practice these important hacks, you can learn to truly take time for yourself — the ultimate form of self-care.
1. Express your needs
No one can guess this, as nice as that would be. Expressing your wants can be difficult, but it’s the fastest route to helping out your mental health. Your support network knows you need to take time for yourself — if you ask them to support you in finding time for yourself, it can help greatly.
2. Learn to say no
Saying yes might seem easier in the moment if you don’t enjoy confrontation, but you probably end up overcommitted to a bunch of things. Instead, learn how to politely say no without feeling guilty. Just the simple act of saying no can help you find more time for yourself.
3. Set more boundaries
This can take place in your personal life and at work. Still, even though you want to make your employer happy, it’s important to set realistic boundaries, like not answering emails after 5pm. Finding a healthy work-life balance is essential and can help you get that downtime that we all need so badly. It’ll also make you more productive when you’re actually working.
4. Start ordering groceries online
Especially if you can make this a recurring service or opt for a meal kit subscription service, you can save a ton of time for yourself in the process of buying groceries, finding recipes, and prepping meals. Always check reviews first.
5. Consider implementing a workout routine
Don’t do it for the sake of appearances — do it for the mental health benefits. Get your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing with this smart way to get some me-time in while keeping your mood boosted. You can do this at a studio and connect with locals, or complete a virtual workout class from home.
6. Spend lunchtime alone
Rather than hanging with co-workers at your break, consider eating alone. Lunch doesn’t have to be a time when you bond with teammates. If you need some time to relax and decompress, consider taking your lunch for a walk in the park, or heading to a nearby restaurant or coffee. If you can’t do this, find a quiet corner in the office with a packed lunch from home.
7. Have some screen-free time
In your free time, you might be tempted to turn on the TV or go on your phone. Instead, try some time without screens. Take a walk in the park, meditate, journal, or paint something. You can even try a temporary social media detox. This will let you clear your mind and de-stress. Take some deep breaths and be present in these moments.
8. Hire a babysitter
Doing it all makes you feel like a superhero sometimes, and at other times it leaves you feeling very exhausted. Adult-only time is necessary, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to have it. Whether it’s a solo spa day, a date night with your partner, or hanging with the BFFs, letting a trustworthy babysitter take the reins can free up your physical time and is a must for your sanity.
9. Get comfortable outsourcing and delegating
As women, we’re so used to taking on the main load of work at home, even if we have full time day jobs. But teaching your kids and partner that they need to help out with chores can help free up some time, and also teaches members of your household to be more responsible. This also goes for work, if you have a network who can help you be more productive without burning out
10. Overwhelmed? Start with mini breaks
Although taking some R&R should be a chance to decompress, it can be overwhelming to start with a major vacation or a ton of time for yourself. In that case, start practicing me-time with micro-breaks, which can be a more manageable intro. Start a puzzle, call a friend, read a few chapters in a book or just get up from your desk and do a few stretches.