Mindfulness means making time for yourself. In our last post, Mindfully Managing Time Stress, we talked about examining our activities to see if they align with our values. If we are spinning our wheels on things that aren’t important to us, we can cut out or limit those activities so we can focus on those things that we do value. Less time spinning our wheels means less time pressure because we will have more time to spend engaging with friends and family and causes close to our hearts. However, sometimes what we need to spend more time on is ourselves.
Suppose, in examining how we spend our time, we find that we are truly spending it on activities we value. There can be many things that we really want to do. However, in our quest to do everything that we find meaningful, we may find that there is too much on our plate, that we are overscheduled. When this occurs, the things we want to enjoy can become stressful. We may feel pressure as we know people are counting on us to honor our commitments, but because of unforeseen circumstances, the commitments are taking longer than we had imagined. This pressure can lead to us skimping on taking good care of ourselves. Activities like sleep, meditation, and eating right can take a backseat as we put the priority on meeting deadlines and commitments. We can end up feeling rundown, and find ourselves without the energy and focus we would like to have to tackle all those activities that we do value and find meaningful. We need to take care of ourselves so we will be able to give the kind of excellent effort we would like to dedicate to the causes, activities, and people that we love.
If we find we are overscheduled, and not taking time for ourselves, we must mindfully examine our activities so that we can prioritize ourselves into the mix. If we have already come to the conclusion that our activities align with our values, we have to decide where to scale back on some other criteria. When you care about everything you have chosen to become involved in, you will want to be creative as you lessen your commitments. Perhaps you could consider supporting a cause monetarily instead of physically. Maybe taking a less time-consuming role will allow you to slow down and stay involved but also give someone else a chance to step-up and shine. You may be able to reach out to others to become involved and take on part of your work load. Be mindful, be inventive, and make time for yourself, so that you can put in your best effort toward all those things you desire to pursue.