Things I have learnt about taking time for yourself

During the last couple of years, I have really appreciated the importance of taking time for yourself, and have therefore tried to take more time for myself. Upon reflection, there has been some takeaways and things that I have learnt when it comes to taking time for yourself. I wanted to talk about 4 takeaways that I have had in this blog post, which could be relatable to some of you reading it.

Fun time and relaxing time are not always the same

There can be times where fun time can also be relaxing time, for example when you play card games with family or friends. However, there are several instances where fun time and relaxing time don’t overlap. For example, going on a night out can be seen as fun time, but certainly not as relaxing time. Understanding that there is a distinction between fun and relaxing time was helpful for me when it came to taking time for myself. This is because I was able to focus on relaxing without the pressure of having to make the time for myself fun. It is important to appreciate that fun time and relaxing time are both important in different ways, so therefore you don’t need the time to yourself to be both fun and relaxing at the same time.

It’s OK to not be productive when having time for yourself

We live in a world where a lot of us feel the need to be productive most of the time, even if we don’t realise it. There is a guilt trap that many of us feel at times where we are not being productive, and this links to toxic productivity. Personally, I also have a mindset of being as productive as possible, and I have found it difficult in the past to shrug off that mindset when it came to taking time for myself. However, one important thing I learnt is that there isn’t much benefit in being productive when taking time for yourself, and forcing yourself to be productive can do more harm than good. Things such as lying down in bed or watching Netflix may seem unproductive, but can be effective when it comes to taking time for yourself.

The amount of time that I take for myself also matters

I know that for a lot of things quality is more important than quantity. However, I have found that the amount of time I take for myself (i.e. the quantity) also does make a difference. This is because some of the main reasons why I take time for yourself include relaxing and reflecting on things. When it comes to relaxing, I why to take enough time for myself to ensure that I am as rested as possible. When it comes to reflection, meaningful reflection takes time and something that cannot be rushed. Not taking enough time for myself to relax or reflect doesn’t help my wellbeing, especially as I have a busy schedule. Therefore to support my wellbeing, I now try to ensure that I set aside a good amount of time for myself in any given week.

It can easily be neglected

Even though taking time for yourself is important, I find that it can so easily be neglected. This is because a lot of us tend to have busy schedules with several different responsibilities and commitments. We tend to prioritise things that we consider as responsibilities or commitments in order to meet them, such as relationships or careers. Taking time for yourself isn’t seen as a responsibility or commitment. Therefore, it’s not something a lot of people actively prioritise. As it doesn’t get prioritised, it can effectively be neglected when you have a busy schedule. If someone hasn’t set aside enough time for themselves during a given time period, the reason they would usually give is that they have been busy and haven’t had the time. However, it is likely that they could have set aside enough time for themselves if it was something they considered as a priority. It is important to prioritise self-care and time for yourself, as this can help you meet your responsibilities and commitments that you have on.  

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8 thoughts on “Things I have learnt about taking time for yourself

  1. Important and timely! I encourage my clients and friends to practice self care often. We cannot pour from an empty cup’

    Like

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