Making Time For Yourself, Guilt-Free!

The older you get or with life’s different phases you get to appreciate the importance of taking time out to ‘Regroup’, Reflect and Refocus without feeling guilty. Even if it’s just to walk away from your work desk and just breathe guilt-free.

When the year starts we load our diaries with countless goals that we are looking to achieve by a set time. We work so hard, that we ignore or don’t see the signs that we are burning out.

With our daily busy schedules, we often feel ashamed to admit we need time out for multiple reasons. We are afraid to be perceived as being weak or feel guilty to step away from obligations to refill our own cups.

Here are seven ideas I have implemented to work through the guilt and actively making time for myself.

1. Explore the guilt

A way to explore this guilt is by writing down your feelings on a piece of paper. Once you are done ask yourself these three questions:

  • How can I feel guilty for taking care of myself?
  • Why don’t I trust people enough to let them know what I need?
  • If a friend needed alone time, would I fault them for it or support them?

Leave your guilt on paper and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Remember that, not only are you serving yourself when you set apart time to recharge, but also everyone around you. By taking care of yourself first, you’ll have more energy and attention for the people you love.

2. Tell people what you need

Learn to articulate exactly what you need for yourself. “I need some time to be alone” doesn’t mean “I don’t want to spend time with you.” It means, “I want to take care of myself, so I can enjoy the time we spend together.” Don’t apologize for asking for what you need.

3. Simplify

Clutter on the outside can feel like clutter on the inside. When you have too much stuff in your home or on your calendar, you might feel overwhelmed, distracted, or anxious. By choosing less on the outside, you may experience more peace on the inside. Simplicity is mostly the best option.

4. Find Your ‘Escape Fun’

If you have young children, think about activities that will keep them engaged while you take a little time for yourself. Take the time out by going out with friends. Fun with the girls or guys can be very therapeutic.

Mpho’s Instagram

5. Identify your sanctuaries

Choose a few places where you love to be alone and recharge. These are sacred places to go and fill your heart. Date yourself to one of Jozi’s finest, Aronia Spa, or date yourself to a movie at Sterkinekor.

Aronia Spa

6. It’s ok to say no

Be true to yourself, get comfortable with saying no, if that is the intent.

 7. Build a reserve

Don’t wait until you are completely “peopled out” to take time to refuel. Take a little time each day to walk alone, write, exercise, or do whatever you need to build a reserve of calm and comfort.

There’s no time to feel guilty about who we are and what we need, especially when it comes to your well being. Less time spent on guilt will allow more optimal time spent on yourself and your loved ones. Food for thought!

Please do share your secrets to how you go about making time for your self?

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Mpho Ntontela
Mpho Ntontela

Health Editor

Mpho Ntontela is a mom, wife and career woman. As a senior project manager at one of the leading financial institutions, a model, motivational speaker and an aspiring businesswoman. She has grown an interest in fitness and health and strongly believes it starts with taking care of oneself before inspiring and influencing others. Her hobbies include spending quality outdoor time with her family, exercising and being in front of the camera.

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