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I remember back when I was a kid, I never understood how my parents were so tired. To me, the days were endless adventures of climbing trees, rollerblading down the streets, and chasing my siblings with water guns. I had my chores, but I usually could pound those out in less than an hour. So when my parents tucked me in a night and said, “there are not enough hours in the day,” I didn’t understand how that was possible.
Years later, I understand. It’s remarkable how fast our days fly by and it’s very easy to fall into a routine. It can become extremely stressful, not to mention exhausting. It’s important to learn how to step away and take time for yourself. It can be tricky to do in today’s fast paced life, but it is possible.
Here are some great tricks to get that time you need, any day of the week.
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Take a Lunch Break
Lunch can be a great time to socialize with co-workers, or a hectic event full of screaming kids. This is the perfect time to get away and have some “me time.” If you’re at work, try going out for walk a few times a week while you eat your lunch. If you’ve got kids, stick them in their rooms for some mandatory “quiet time.” Whatever you do, take that 30 minutes or an hour for yourself. The alone time will clear your head and motivate you to push yourself through the rest of the day!
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Take a Long Bath (Or Shower!)
Getting to the spa or salon can be expensive and time consuming. While it’s a great treat every once and a while, most of us can’t do it on a weekly basis. Instead, take an hour and step into your own, steaming, personal salon. A hot shower or warm bubble bath is a soothing, yet simple activity.
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Turn off your phone, computer and TV. They’re major distractions, and with them, you won’t be able to fully relax. You deserve time away from the immediate needs of the outside world. For some people 20 minutes is long enough, for others it’s a weekend. Find the balance that works for you and enjoy the break.
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Find a Personal Hobby
This can be anything, from a personal project to taking a group class. The important thing is to make sure it’s something that you like and to make time for it. For me, it’s writing. I made a goal to write every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. The simple act of working on something that is challenging and enjoyable helps keep me stress free!
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Plan Events Ahead of Time
Maybe it’s a coffee date with a good friend, or maybe it’s signing up for a weekly yoga class. Either way, by planning ahead and honoring your commitments you are ensuring that you will have some time to relax and do what you love every week. If you can set events for yourself, that’s great! But, if you find it hard to keep to them, involve a friend. It makes bailing a lot more difficult, and you’ll thank yourself in the long run!
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Save Up for a Monthly Treat
You may love things that aren’t realistic to do on a weekly basis. Try changing the timeline to once a month and suddenly it’s doable! Pick one thing to save up for every month, as a treat to yourself. This could be going out to your favorite restaurant in town, or buying tickets to a concert. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you will look forward to.
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Have a Friends’ Night Out (Or In)
It’s easy to leave friends behind in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Make time to get together with friends, whether it’s catching the latest Bradley Cooper flick, or staying in with some nostalgic board games and wine, you’re sure to unwind while sharing some hearty laughs. Your friends will probably be grateful for the break.
No matter what you choose to do during your “me time,” be sure you do things you enjoy. If you’re feeling tense and not smiling, it may be a good idea to try something new. Everyone is different, so work hard to find what works for you! You definitely won’t regret it.