Over the past month, I’ve shared ideas on what self care is and creating a space for yourself. Last week, I encouraged you to schedule yourself on your calendar. Today I want to address the importance of how to protect the time that you do set aside for yourself.
Recently, a friend posted on Facebook that she had turned down two speaking engagements because those days had already been set aside for self care days. She proclaimed those were her “yellow days” which display that the time is for her. As the engagements were paid opportunities, she was turning down income. However, she knew that without days off, she would be unable to work at the capacity she needed to. She has learned the art of protecting her time.
How often do you allow other events to impede upon time that you may have set aside for yourself?
I am going to assume that there are many times when you look at your schedule and schedule events that interrupt your own time. Just recently I had to protect my own time when another person kept stating she could only meet on a date that I had set aside for myself. (Side note, the other person could meet on a day I suggested but she was preferring another day because it worked better for her.)
It is not uncommon to give up your own time because another person feels their needs are greater. We give up our time in order to be polite, to not be difficult and to let other know we can be counted on.
There were a few moments in the above mentioned conversation when I almost gave in. I could schedule the meeting with her and hopefully still do the things I wanted to do for myself (massage, manicure), if they could be rescheduled. However, I stood firm in regards to my own needs. Practicing self care is also about protecting the time you have set aside for yourself. Even if you do not have events scheduled, simply knowing you have an afternoon all to yourself is therapeutic.
You will always find others who want to steal your time. Others will always believe that their meeting is more important, that their event is more significant and that their time means more.
It is up to you to learn the art of protecting your time.
Not protecting your time can lead to a vicious cycle.
- Making appointments during the time you planned to grocery shop can lead to grabbing meals at the drive through.
- Working during your off days and not having that planned coffee or lunch with a friend can lead to feeling disconnected from your support circle.
- Choosing to work on the laundry or clean the house rather than spend 30 minutes working out can lead to higher levels of stress, tight muscles and an overall decrease in health.
I admire my friend for publicly sharing she is valuing her time. In the past, she would accept any offer that came to her. She wanted to be available but has also learned that others can wait. There will be other speaking engagements. Taking time to relax is likely enabling her to be stronger for these future engagements.
Today I am challenging you to protect your time. You are important and the hours or minutes set aside for you are just as important.
How do you protect your time?