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Do you find ‘me’ time, that hour or so when you get to choose what you want to do? Or are you putting your job, family and friends first, making it tricky for you to take a break, gather your thoughts and put things into perspective? It is too easy to forget to make time for yourself, so let’s look at changing that pattern now.
It is a habit
Making time for yourself is a habit and unless you have already created this habit, it may take a bit of practice until it feels totally natural. The first thing you need to do is shed any negative belief that you may have held to-date about ‘me’ time. Maybe you were always told that you were selfish if you focused on your needs and then you struggled with feelings of guilt afterwards? Sarah Berry says, ‘You will lose your spark, your enthusiasm and your energy if you allow others to run your life. You must focus on your needs if you are to enjoy the quality of your life. It is essential that you start to nurture yourself fully and as you do so, you will feel happier and more energised.’
To operate effectively at work, you need a full emotional and mental tank. It would be great if your job could fulfil most of your needs but it doesn’t always work that way. The workplace is a ‘holding tank’ where lots of people are trying to do the same thing which is to fill up daily and get their needs met. However, needs rub against each other and not everyone will manage to satisfy their needs. So, it is a good idea to become aware of what your needs are and to set boundaries around yourself in order to protect yourself. Then you can balance your outside ‘me time’ with your work to ensure that most, if not all, of your needs get met. Let’s have a quick look at what categories your current needs fall into. Circle five needs that you feel you need to work on.
Your Key Needs
Here are some tips to help you to focus on satisfying your key needs
Listed below are some ideas to help you get into the habit of focusing on your needs and to spend time satisfying them. You will discover that these activities won’t interfere with your everyday commitments or your performance at work. You might even be able to squeeze them in before you start work, during your lunch hour or after the kids have gone to bed.
- Take a long lunch with a friend or colleague. What is better than catching up with a friend or colleague in the summer sunshine? Go to your favourite café and order your favourite food and drink. Enjoy chatting together and having a bit of fun.
- Discover a hidden talent. Do you have a hidden desire to learn a musical instrument, try a new hobby, take up a new sport or exercise class or learn a foreign language? Many places offer early morning classes, late sessions or private lessons for beginners. Now is your chance to let your hidden talent out. Put aside some money for yourself and sign yourself up for some classes.
- Use your creativity. If you find yourself feeling dull, bored or as if you are on an endless treadmill, you need to find your creative spirit again. As you start to define yourself, your enthusiasm for work will grow too. What makes you feel creative? Is it music, gardening, painting, decorating or dancing? Whatever it is, you need to be doing it.
- Get in nature. You have to feel grounded if you are to perform at work. If you start to feel crabby or tired, it is time to unblock your energy by getting into nature. Can you walk to work in the morning picking a route along a river or through a park? Can you get out at lunchtime and relax in the countryside? Is a swim at the beginning or the end of the day an option? Being in nature will help you to release any anxiety and restore your vitality.
- Get a new story. The people at work get used to who you are and in time their comments about how they view you may not be helping you. If you find yourself focusing on past events or negative things, it is time for you to get a ‘new story’. The best way to do this is to create a scrapbook or a chart with all the things you want to include in your ‘new story’. What pictures could you include to help you to visualise the positive aspects of your life? What encouraging words do you wish to hear in the future? What do you like about yourself? Spend some time releasing the past and step into the present. How good does that feel?
- Research and consider some investment opportunities. If you have a need for extra cash, you could consider looking into some additional ways to make money. How much money do you need? Do you have your personal accounts up-to-date? Are you fully aware of your income, liabilities and expenditures on a daily basis? Have you avoided falling into the trap of living beyond your means or hoping that money will turn up from somewhere? This is a risky option. Creating passive income is a wise option. Are your savings policies giving you the return on investment that you are looking for? What business opportunities could you invest in? Is investing in property an option for you?
- Invest in yourself. What would give you a boost? Do you need to spend some time shopping and updating your clothes? Would you benefit from a new hairstyle? What about your shoes? Do your shoes reflect how you feel about yourself? What about a massage? Go on, you need to think about how you are going to give yourself a boost.
- Listen to some audio-books. Use other experts to coach you. Browse on the Internet or in your local bookshop at all the audio-books on the market. What do you want to learn? What knowledge would help you? What need are you looking to fulfil? Choose something that you would give you pleasure.
- Take action. Start by taking some action. Don’t worry if you don’t know where it will lead you but be prepared to give something new a go. As long as you keep learning and keep taking action you will soon discover what works for you. Value the time that you spend with yourself. You will enjoy it.
It is a good idea to take a regular look at your needs. If you are not getting your needs met at work, you need to spend more time getting them met outside of work so that you feel in balance.
When you are in balance, you operate from a different place, a place of self-approval and contentment, and it will therefore be much easier for you to operate in the work environment. If you are looking for more advice on how to create a greater sense of fulfilment from your work, Sarah Berry’s latest book, ‘How to Love the Job You Do‘ may help you.
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