Monday, January 11, 2010
photographer unknown to me
The Daily OM
Finding Time for You
Your Most Vital Commitment
Within each of there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or "you time." Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily "you time." Though some people will inevitably look upon "you time" as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.
Recognizing the importance of "you time" is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of "you time," give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.
Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. "You time" prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as "you time" can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your wellbeing because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.
Making time for me was a hard concept to actually incorporate in my life. I was so used to being a single mom, working and somehow keeping all my plates in the air, all of which left little "me time". Then my life changed, I remarried, my last daughter left home, I moved, I got Fibromyalgia. Getting Fibro has made me learn to take time for myself. I had to start taking care of my body inside and out. I was used to doing everything physically that I wanted to and suddenly in 2006 I no longer could. I have found a way back to being able to do most of the physical activities that are important in my life. OK, I admit just in a slower gentler way. I call this my new normal.
No complaints, life is good!