Finding Me Time

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We all live very busy lives. There is always something to be done, someone who needs help, projects that need finishing. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, we are going, going, going, and going some more.

Learning how to slow down

I have written about how I had to change my perspective on getting things done and staying busy. In the long run, pushing myself did more harm than good.

Before my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I tried to fit in as much “stuff” as possible because that was the expectation. When I continued to do that after my diagnosis, I found that I completed less and I was more exhausted and painful. (doh, Monica!)

So, I slowed down. It took a while and I still struggle with this, but I forced myself to slow. The eff. Down.

I want to unwind and just chill

While it has boosted my productivity, managed my autoimmune and, in turn, helped me complete more, I find it difficult to find time to unwind.

Yes, I absolutely make time for naps, but I am not really completing work during that time. When I am awake, I’ve spread out my work over a longer time, so I don’t overexert myself.

Here’s the issue: most of my time is spent getting things done. I do not have “me” time where I get to relax, a time where I get to unwind and just chill.

Sure, I am not in want of things to do. But sometimes, I just want to de-stress and shut down my brain for a while. But, now that my time is dedicated to doing “things”, I don’t have that opportunity.

How I find quality "me" time

So, I’ve compiled my tips for finding “me time” because, yes, apparently I actually have to make a concerted effort to chill.

Pen it in

Pen - not pencil - that ish into my calendar. If I can erase it, I will; so, I make the ink permanent.

I’ve never been much of a scheduler since I don’t like forcing myself to do something at a certain time but, over the last couple of years, I’ve found it helpful. If I want downtime, I better schedule it in advance.

Prepare

If I don’t have something within arm’s reach at the time, I will fill the space with something I need to get done. So, I plan out certain activities I would like to do.

Right now, it’s a lot of Pokemon on my old Gameboys. If I am tired or painful, I keep audiobooks or PDFs on my tablet so I can lay down and read or listen.

And, if it’s a good day, it’s just a good old fashion dog walk with Affie. But, let me say - I am not always that disciplined. This has its downside because if I’m feeling foggy or distracted, I often spend more time on the Gameboy or the tablet than actually working. But practice makes perfect and the good habit usually prevails.

Waking up a bit earlier

Waking up is hard to do as I have often said before. I am not a morning person, so getting up is my biggest chore. But, I have come to realize that this is the easiest way to get me time.

I often wake up before my family. The house is nice and quiet. I sit and drink my coffee, watch some TV, and just hang out. It’s a great way to start my day!

A need for balance

I know this makes it sound like I am a very disciplined person. It took a lot, a lot of practice and there are some days where I just say “EFF it” and do nothing productive.

But, as my workload continues to rise and I can’t complete it any faster due to my symptom restraints, my chill time had to be cut out. But without that balance, I know I could end up flared and unhappy; so, I make time for it.

How do you make sure you get some R&R? LMK in the comments!

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