A few days ago while reading, I remembered that classes and work at the office would start soon. My peaceful break spent reading, writing, and being with myself would come to a close in just a little over a week. In time, I wouldn’t be able to wake up leisurely, workout, shower, then read for the remainder of the day as I had been doing all break. I began wondering when I’d even have time for myself at all, since college classes usually take up a large chunk of my time.
Then I remembered that I could make time. If reading and time to myself felt like a priority, why shouldn’t it be?
In my opinion, time for yourself is so incredibly important. A while ago, I used to hate being alone and never knew what to do with myself when I was. But now, I look forward to my daily me-time. As an empath, it serves as a refresher for me, like a gentle energy cleanse. It also serves as time for personal growth in that I’m doing something for myself. Whether going on a walk, watching a show, or reading, I am taking care of myself and allowing myself to relax and lean into what I want.
Before we dive into some ways to make time for yourself, ask yourself what time for yourself looks like. Is it reading with a cup of coffee? Is it writing your book or working on your blog? Or is it sitting in stillness and doing nothing at all? Whatever this time looks like is okay, because it’s your time.
4 ways to make time for yourself
1. Time block/plan out your days
If you didn’t already know, I bullet journal and draw out all my weekly spreads. In those spreads, I loosely block out my days. This really helps me figure out when I have the free time to do things like workout, read, or write a blog post. I then will plan out that free time in advance, just like I’d plan out anything else. If you don’t think you have the time for yourself in a given day, I highly recommend planning out your day in advance--you might come to realize that you do have time!
2. Implement your me-time into your morning or night routines
My absolute favorite time to read is in the morning. The act of waking up in a daze, brewing some coffee, and allowing myself to wake up in another world. Focusing on the words on the pages helps prepare my mind for the day, and it’s an activity that is both enjoyable but also calming. By waking up a little earlier to read first thing in the morning has helped me get in time for daily reading.
If time-blocking your day is too much, try just implementing your me-time into your morning or night. Replace social media scrolling with reading, or watching a television show with drawing (Or, draw while you’re watching television!). This is a simple way to get in some time for yourself.
3. Make your me-time something to look forward to
If your me-time isn’t something enjoyable, why would you feel inclined to do it? For example, I was trying to get back into writing for a while and would carve out time at night or during the day to sit down and work on my third book. However, it ended up feeling like a chore and overtime, I stopped writing all together.
Now, I write only when I feel inspired, but I also make sure I’m inspired a lot of the time. I’ll listen to my writing playlist and fantasize about my characters. I’ll turn on a candle and make my room a creative and safe space. This way, the act of writing becomes both exciting and enjoyable, and although I don’t always look forward to writing, I still sit down to do it and always feel good when I do.
Anyway. Try not to force yourself to do something and instead, really lean into what you want to do. But, if you’re like me and you don’t always like reading, for example, but you want to read more, then make reading time something to look forward to. Make it enjoyable. Make it your time.
4. When you find that you have free time, pick up your hobby instead of your phone
I know there are moments in my day when I find I’m done with all my work and I am blessed with a moment of free time. But, instead of reading or writing, I pick up my phone and scroll, and scroll, and scroll. Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with scrolling, and I think it’s okay to do every once in a while. However, oftentimes, when we decide not to pick up our phone and instead pick up a book, we may find that 1) we have more free time than we originally imagined and 2) we can instead use that time for something we really, truly enjoy, and that will benefit us in many ways.
As I’m writing this, school starts tomorrow, and I’ll be honest--I’m still a bit worried that I won’t have time for myself. However, by making me-time a priority and carving out space for it, I believe I will find the time and make the time. And I truly believe, even amidst your busy schedule, that you can as well.
I wish y’all the very best of luck this semester! Or, if you’re not in college, this year, whatever it looks like for you!