If you had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have said no. Finding time daily to “do my own thing” just wasn’t a priority. It seemed like just one more thing to fit into a busy day. If I had a few minutes to myself, I felt like there were way too many things I “should” be doing.
I “should” be exercising, or doing laundry, or meal-planning, or cleaning up, or any other myriad of things that pile up every day. I felt guilty doing anything else. It felt like I was ignoring all the things around me that still had to get done.
At least I felt that way until I learned about the power of creating space in my day. I read that taking even 15 minutes each day to do something alone was enough to recharge my batteries and give me fresh energy to fight off feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
Fifteen minutes sounded doable. It also didn’t feel like I would ignore all the things I “should” be doing. I made a list of all the things I like to do that kept in mind only two rules: 1) I had to be alone and 2) it couldn’t include screens of any kind. Catching up on a show or scrolling through Pinterest sounded tempting, but I wanted to incorporate interests and activities that would be more mindful.
My list included:
- Reading a book (for fun or to learn something new)
- Painting by number (there are so many fun patterns on Etsy!)
- Cross stitch (something I loved doing as a kid and haven’t done in years)
- Taking a bubble bath
- Guided meditation (there are some great apps for this – my favorite is Calm)
- Reading or writing poetry
- Journaling (again something I used to do daily that had since fallen by the wayside)
By creating space in my day, I now have something to look forward to each day.
I realized that doing something for myself didn’t have to cost money, take a huge chunk of time, or require me to figure out a babysitter. It also meant that I added activities and hobbies to my life that I missed – reading, journaling, and crafting especially! When I have more time, I take it without guilt. When I don’t, I can always find 15 minutes. I feel so much more in touch with the “old me” and enjoy coming up with new activities to try.