‘I don’t have time for this.’ ‘All I want is some time to myself.’ ‘I haven’t taken a bath in ages!’ Sounds familiar? If you have kids and a job, you probably say this or similar phrases several times a week.
Do you think it’s time for a change?
Then try out these five small changes that help freeing you up for more me time. Some of them can even turn former daily chores into a mindfulness practice.
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Plan and Prep Your Meals Ahead
There are plenty food blogs that suggest preparing your entire weekly meal schedule ahead. And I have to say, it works. On Saturday or Sunday morning, think of what you want to cook the following week, take your car and go food shopping. Take your kids and make a fun activity out of it, if you want to, making them curious about healthy food along the way.
Then on Sunday afternoon or evening you prepare what you can for these meals: Meals that work nicely are grain based salads to bring to work or school. They’re healthy and filling. Cook a huge bowl of the grain of your choice, like rice or quinoa, cut a whole rainbow of vegetables, boil some eggs, and store everything in airtight containers in the fridge. Maybe you even want to prepare Smoothie bags with small cut fruit and Spinach for breakfast. This preparation frees up a lot of your time every day when preparing meals. If your children are older, they can just throw together some grain and vegetables from the fridge themselves, season it and take to school.
If you can make even more room at the weekend, prepare one or two dishes that are easy to freeze, like soups, Curry, Daal, Chili con Carne or Lasagne. Come Wednesday Night: Reheat – Voila. And before your family knows what hit them, you’re chilling in the bathtub.
Make Good Use of Your Lunch Break at Work
If you’re working full-time, make sure to take your lunch breaks. Many of us eat on their desks while typing away on their keyboard, thinking this saves time.
After a real break away from your desk, you will be so much more productive and efficient for the next hours to come. Maybe you even have a park close by where you can eat or take a walk. Try to eat your food mindfully and focus only on eating. You will not only be more relaxed afterwards, but also full for longer. And, if you have a gym or yoga studio close to your office – why not sign up for a short lunch session?
Turn Your Commute to Work into a Mindfulness or Fitness Session
After having participated in a Laughter Yoga Workshop, my friend took the daily commute in her car as an opportunity to practice laughter (or simply, to laugh her butt off!). She felt stupid first, but also safe in the privacy of her car. After a while she really felt the difference. Her mood changed, she took things and problems more light heartedly, her relationship improved. Today she is a Laughter Yoga Teacher and full of joy.
Try laughing all by yourself in the car. Especially if you’re stressed or in a foul mood. It will work wonders.
If you can walk to work – great! Download a meditation app or your favorite tunes and put on your walking shoes. Maybe you can even bring back your jogging routine.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
We all know this from the office or from chores at home. Often it’s just easier to do things ourselves instead of taking the time to explain them to someone else. Plus, they can’t do it as good as we can, right? While it’s a common attitude, it is short-sighted. As long-term your kids, partner or colleagues will be able to do the work without you chipping in. And even if it’s not done to exactly your standards, better learn quickly to accept the crum in the corner, if you would like to have more me time.
Say NO More Often
This might be the most difficult, but also most important change to make. You don’t have to participate in every school activity, volunteer to take on an additional client, or drive your kids around town. Saying NO does not only relate to saying no to employers and friends, but mainly to the expectation you have for yourself.
If your children are old enough to take a bus to school or football practice – teach them how to get there and most certainly they can manage on their own. The increased trust you put in them will boost their confidence along the way.
Featured Contributor: Kosta Miachin
Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method – a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: vikasayoga.com
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