When you lead a busy life that includes a rewarding or demanding career, combined with the responsibilities that come along with having a family, it can seem like you never have a moment to spare for yourself. You hit the ground running when the alarm goes off in the morning, and never sit still until you drop, exhausted, back into bed that night.
It is important to remember that you need to make time for yourself somewhere in your busy schedule. Whether you use a half-hour during your lunch break to sit outside and read a book, or go for a solitary walk in the evening, you need to ensure there is at least some time in your day dedicated to you. Allowing personal time is an important aspect of achieving a healthy work life balance.
This can be difficult to accomplish without guilt when you have a spouse and children to attend to. Making time for yourself benefits everyone, though, by giving you a little quiet time to regroup. Afterwards you can face your family and your job with greater enthusiasm and increased patience, because you will no longer feel stressed to the breaking point.
1. Ease Your Tensions
If you do not allow for regular quiet time in your life, the ongoing noise and daily pressures can drive you to the brink of insanity. The accumulated stress never ceases, which can cause you to become constantly tense and ill at ease. You may become cranky, and snap at your co-workers or loved ones for no apparent reason.
When you manage to find some alone time, your mind is given the opportunity to escape – however briefly – from the stresses and tensions of the day. Once you become accustomed to taking some quiet time, you will actually feel your body relax and unwind. Even if your alone time is only 15 minutes on the back porch each evening, sipping a glass of wine and watching the sun set, you will return to your life with a clear head and a better attitude.
2. Clear Your Mind
When you do not allow yourself some quiet time, your mind becomes overloaded with the events of the day. Your thoughts race from one subject to the next, never slowing down long enough to fully consider anything.
Allowing yourself some quiet time to be alone also encourages your mind to slow down as well. Once it drops out of overdrive, you will be amazed at some of the ideas that come through. The subconscious mind is always working, but many times becomes overshadowed by the overactive conscious mind. If you can quiet your thoughts, your subconscious has a chance to communicate with you. Keep a pen and paper handy, though, because this is when some of your best ideas are likely to appear out of thin air. If you don’t write them down when the thoughts occur to you, you run the risk of losing them. Some of your greatest successes may be conceived during your quiet time.
3. Exercise Your Body
Many people use their quiet time to exercise, replenishing your mental energy while releasing stress and tension from the body. Go for an evening run, walk around the neighborhood, take a swim, or rollerblade through the park. Give yourself a half hour or an hour of uninterrupted time to work up a sweat and make yourself feel good. You will return with improved spirits and your self confidence will soar as you feel yourself becoming physically stronger. Exercise is one of the best gifts you can give your mind, your body, and your spirit.
Most people recognize the importance of having some alone time. Talk to your spouse or significant other and make arrangements to trade off responsibilities for the kids, for making dinner, or for doing other household chores so that both of you have the time and the ability to engage in a little quiet time. Doing so will provide you with greater enjoyment of the other aspects of your life, and in the long run will help you build towards stronger relationships in your life. The power of alone time cannot be underestimated and taking advantage of it should be one of your priorities in achieving a healthy work life balance.