Find Time for Yourself NOW! (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 4)

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Do you find your batteries low and in need of recharging this holiday season? Do you crave an injection of positive thought, energy, and time?

How do you make time for yourself in this hectic time of year where there is often too little time?

First, don’t worry if you can’t carve out a big chunk of time. (If you do have the ability to do that – FANTASTIC! Relish it! You might want to try the Gratitude Walk from my Newsletter article entitled Embrace the Life You Have – also great after a holiday feast.)

But in this article you’re going to learn some ways leverage those little bits of time we all have. Perhaps you’re waiting on hold, stuck in traffic, or sitting on the local commuter train when stalls between stations.

Here are 10 things you can do over the next month – for you.

1 – Grab a favorite book. Take just 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning or last thing before you go to sleep and re-read the first and last chapters. You could even take it with you and re-read your favorite parts when you are waiting in line, or sitting on the train in your morning commute.

2 – While you brush your teeth, which should take 3 – 5 minutes, take a moment to be thankful for all the everyday blessings that make the day more pleasant (e.g. running water, a bathroom, toothbrush and toothpaste, slippers, dishwasher, washer/dryer, car, the “el”, your shoes, your coat). Take a minute and appreciate, truly appreciate the small things.

3 – When you find yourself stuck in traffic, turn on the radio and spin the dial to find a song you like (or pop in a CD), crank the volume and sing along for just one song at the top of your lungs. Don’t worry about how you look, by the time the song is done – you’ll have a big smile on your face and the endorphins will be flowing!

4 – When you sip your morning coffee, tea or juice, take a moment, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and savor the taste, the way it feels, relish the moment, for just a moment.

5 – When things are feeling stressful, or even if they’re not, look around the room, and as your eyes settle on someone you like or someone you love – pause for a moment and smile. Just smile. Take a second to recognize that amid all this insanity – you are getting to be with people you like and people you love.

6 – Take 10 minutes and sit down with your dog, cat, bird, or goldfish, and just focus on them. I always find a bit of fur therapy makes me feel much better.

7 – When you’re in the shower, instead of thinking about your day ahead, take minute and list at least 10 things you’re thankful for about the morning shower (e.g. hot water, time alone, the scent of your shampoo, indoor plumbing, the feel of the soap as it cleans your skin, the pounding of the water on your aching neck or back). Say “Thank You” for each item you come up with.

8 – If you’re stuck in a crowded area with people you don’t know, or don’t particularly like, try this. Take a slow, deep, quiet breath. In and out. Look around the room, and mentally note 10 things you have in your life you appreciate (e.g. You have a warm bed waiting for you at home; you have a person you love at home, you are employed, you hold in your hand a warm cup of apple cider, which you love, you are indoors and there’s an ice storm outside, and so on.) Then, take another slow, deep, quiet breath, and smile.

9 – As you get caught in the nasty weather this wintry time, hum the song Let It Snow.

10 – The next time you get a Christmas carol stuck in your head – allow your mind to sing it all the way through (making up words when you forget the lyrics). If you’re alone, sing it out loud!

My hope is these ideas will inspire you to find new ways of taking a breather, and to appreciate and enjoy what you have.

I’d love to hear from you, post your thoughts below!


This article was originally published by Lori Howard in the Coach for a Better Life Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 4, December 8, 2008.

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When I first met Lori, I was in a rut. Having spent 25 years in the same industry, I was bored, max’d out and didn't know what to do next.  I was pigeon-holed into an industry that I was not so fond of, and saw no way to get out.  I felt trapped. Lori understood my predicament, as she had seen it all before -- she was sympathetic, but resolute in knowing that she could help me find answers.  I took great solace in that! 

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