The crazy amount of demands on our time is pushing so many of us into pressure cooker situations and putting some serious stress on our mental health. But you can take back control of your time and start taking care of your mental wellbeing with a few tips.
Firstly, get a pen and some paper and list numbers 1 to 24, with each number on a new line. These numbers are how many hours in the day you have. Next, strike out 8 numbers and write ‘sleep’ next to them – this is a nonnegotiable! You must get 8 full hours of sleep every night to be able to function as a human, anything less and you will affect your mood, ability to concentrate, and your mental wellbeing.
Strikeout one more hour and write ‘me time’ – again this is nonnegotiable, repeat NONNEGOTIABLE! You must and I really mean MUST have at least one hour a day to do something that sets your soul on fire, otherwise, how do you expect to live a happy life if you won’t commit time to enjoy yourself? Are you really willing to live a life where you can’t spend one hour a day doing something that makes you happy?
You can do whatever you want in this one hour, it could be yoga, reading, painting, running whatever you like but it must make you feel like sunshine and if it doesn’t then try again the next day and try something new. Taking some ‘me time’ helps strengthen your mental health but is one of the first things we all neglect as we get bogged down in our day to day life, so make it a priority and a habit.
For your remaining hours write down all of the other demands on your time which might be things like getting ready for work, going to work, picking the kids up from school, cooking and eating dinner, etc. Be realistic about what is achievable and allocate your hours accordingly. As your list of demands grow you will soon realise you only have so many hours in a day which is kind of the point of this exercise!
You can only do what you can do so stop overcommitting and stretching yourself so thin that you’re about to snap at any given moment! Learn the power of no and work out your priorities and what you are willing to spend time on.
Once you’ve mastered your schedule and learnt to stop over committing, you will have taken back control of the things that used to overwhelm you and found time for more important prioritises like your mental wellbeing, self-care, and sleep!