Whether it is by choice or circumstances or a combination of both, many of us are very, very busy.
Everything – from demanding jobs to carpools to social activities to the sports events and recitals of children and grandchildren to caring for the health needs of family members – seems to conspire to fill every waking hour and actually increase our number of waking hours.
There is an unfortunate byproduct of our active lifestyles. Many of us don’t take time out for ourselves. I’m not talking about some non-work shared activity that becomes the equivalent of a job – like the ritual monthly book club or social activity with the same group of couples or the regular golf or tennis foursome. Those are healthy and maybe even necessary activities that you might never get to do unless you specifically put them into your schedule.
But the focus of those activities is not you.
For your own mental health promotion, it’s really important to take time for non-competitive relaxing, thinking, planning, and setting goals for that part of your life that you can control.
An interesting thing often happens when you program time for yourself into your schedule. You may find yourself surprised to realize that you have the ability to control other parts of your schedule rather than just following the course of events.
As improbable as it may seem, taking time for yourself is not just another thing to overload an already overloaded schedule. It can actually be a major step in the process of reducing overload.