General, Self-Care

5 Ways To Make Time For Yourself

All too often we get caught up in the daily tasks and obligations of life. Whether it’s work, blogging, or taking care of kids, every one of us knows what it’s like to end the day completely exhausted. Don’t you wish you had 5 minutes to do something for yourself?

As a pregnant mom of two, I feel this all too often. These are a few ways I am able to squeeze in some much needed “me time”

Wake up earlier

Are you a last minute sleeper? Do you like to sleep up until the EXACT minute you need to get dressed and go? If so, this is a perfect place to try and squeeze in some me time.

Get up earlier! Get up 30minutes to an hour before you need to leave. Go ahead and go through your regular routine of getting dressed, and then, relax! Make a pot of coffee or tea. Read a chapter of a book, watch some morning shows, listen to a podcast. Take these quiet early morning hours to really spend time with yourself, and wake up. Have yourself a full breakfast!

As a mom, I utilize this by waking up an hour before my children do. I can get myself ready for the day, have breakfast prepared for them when they come down the hall and have some prayer or meditation time. I also like to set my intention for the day.

Stay up later

Are you super strict about your own bedtime? Chart your sleep schedule for a week. Determine if you might be sleeping too much. That DEFINITELY contributes to those groggy days, and there IS such a thing as oversleeping.

In the past, I’ve discovered that staying up a few hours past my kid’s bedtime gives me some much needed time with my husband. If he takes this time to do something for himself (video games, working out, hanging with friends), I’m able to do the same for myself. This is usually spent setting up blog posts and images, redesigning the website, or taking a nice long shower (and SHAVING!).

Actually take lunch

This is for all you hard workers, eating salad from home over your keyboard while clocked out, but still responding to emails. If you have a designated lunch break, TAKE IT. Lunch-BREAK.

Get on Netflix, scroll through Facebook, GET OFF THE EMAILS. Call in an order and have a WARM lunch.

Join the coworkers wherever they might be going for the day. Use this opportunity to grab your favorite beverage, or listen to a podcast, whatever it is that relaxes and motivates you to get through your day.

Add it to your schedule

Do you live by a super strict, hour by hour time slot schedule? If so, did you know you can pencil yourself in? Seriously! Try it! Give yourself a single hour this week.

Get out your planner, open your calendar app, bring up your spreadsheet. Pick a single daytime hour this week that isn’t filled yet. Now, title it “Me Time”. Don’t schedule a specific event. Don’t make it long shower day, or read a book hour. Leave it blank.

When that day comes, and it’s finally your scheduled appointment with you, /do whatever you want to do/! That does not mean “Oh, I’m behind on this project I should use this time productively”. No. I want you to be unproductive. I want you to do something for yourself.

Look up a new yoga video, find a guided meditation, browse your /personal/ social media. Call your cousin, sister, aunt, and just chat. Do something with the intent of making yourself feel better.

Write out your to-do list

This seems weird, right? You may ask “How is this making time for myself? Isn’t this just another task to add to my already overloaded tasklist?”. Maybe. Maybe it is too much, and it’s a crazy idea. On the other hand, you may be like me. You may live daily with a running list in your head of all the things that you need to get done this week, month, year. You have no deadlines in sight, just a repeating list.

Writing it out does two things for me: it allows me to list things in order of priority, and it allows me to see my progress as I mark things off. Once you’ve got them written out, you can actually assign days for them to be done, instead of waking up each day with a million things left to do. Spread them out and make your week more organized, and less stressful!

I hope these tips help you squeeze in some YOU-time!

What’s your favorite way to spend your alone time? Let me know in the comments below!

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 5 Ways To Make Time For Yourself - The Southern Smiths: A few tips to squeeze some you-time into your busy day!
General, Self-Care

Low-Income Mental Health Resources

I know for a lot of people, money is a BIG issue when it comes to mental health. Without insurance, things get pricey, especially medication and therapy. So, what can we do to try and take care of ourselves?

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There are ALWAYS crisis help lines when you’re having a hard time. They are NOT only for suicidal thoughts (that’s why there are suicide hotlines and crisis helplines). One of my personal favorites is texting 741-741. This is a free text-line that gives you someone to talk to without having to make a phone call or be 100% focused on your phone. I start by texting “Go”, but I’ve heard that you can text anything at all to get the process started. If your carrier charges for texting, you may need to look into that before beginning.

You can also go to Google and research mental health clinics in your area. A lot of clinics now offer a sliding-scale payment option. In fact, I was able to receive free medication and therapy for a while when my finances weren’t doing so well. Just start with “mental health clinics near me” and begin your search.

There are also support groups, rather local or on Facebook! I  love my online communities. I’ve spent a lot of time in different support groups reaching out to people and giving them someone to talk to who can relate to what they’re going through.

I’m not sure about apps available on Android, but my all-time favorite app that I use is iMoodJournal. It allows me to journal, track my moods at certain times, and pay attention to how things change over the course of a week, a month, or a year. I also love that I don’t need to type a password to begin journaling, but I need to type one to access my history.

Do you know of any other apps or free websites for people needing support? Let me know in the comments below, and I can look through them and add to this post as time passes!

Low-Income Mental Health Resources - The Southern Smiths:Clinics, Support Groups, Apps