Do you take time every day for yourself? If you constantly feel burned out then it may be a case of planning smarter, not harder. Could taking the big step to find time for yourself be the answer? Julie Burke thinks so
KBC WellFest Summer Tour teacher Julie Burke is convinced that taking time for herself every day has made her a calmer and happier person. But just what constitutes time for yourself?
We are conditioned to be busy. The world we live in and the pace of life most of us choose to lead puts us under extreme pressure on a daily basis. I say choose to live this way because if you think about it is a choice. We could probably all slow down in a number of areas in our day to day life but, for whatever reason, we choose not to. Instead we find ourselves constantly planning and thinking ahead to what we have to do next. W’re adding to those never ending to do lists and rarely pausing to take stock of where we are and appreciate who we are.
I am and always have been one of those people who is constantly on the go. I’m always juggling 101 things at once. I thrive on being busy and like to think I’m most productive when I have a big list of things to do. I often talk about just wanting time to relax. However even when given these rare opportunities I often find something to do to take me away from me time. As a result I often find myself completely exhausted and worn out. So in reality the short term shortening of a to do list has a bigger negative impact on my health and well being.
So why is it that we find it easy and often automatic to ignore our own health and wellbeing? Why do we rarely prioritise ourselves? If you are anything like me you’ll almost feel guilty for taking time out and investing time in yourself. I learnt the hard way to slow down. My body gave me a very loud warning signal earlier this year which forced me to totally stop. I really struggled with it but after quickly realising I was fighting a losing battle I decided to try a different approach. To listen to what my body was very clearly screaming at me and also to mentally to invest time in me.
The reality is that it is very realistic and doable to find more time for you in your week. Or as I now like to call it, Me TLC time. This is time to recharge your batteries. To refuel in whatever way you need it. It’s a total mindset shift though, to prioritise time for yourself. It probably won’t happen overnight and some days you may even find yourself in a battle with yourself. I may have been there a few times but I also have to admit that when I started taking time for myself it had the most amazing impact physically and mentally. It also made me a calmer, happier and better version of me for those close to me.
Me TLC Time
Your Me TLC time can be anything from taking 15 minutes to have a coffee and just check in with yourself; to 5 minutes of just focusing on your breath to exercise, pampering or reading a book. Whatever is escapism for you.
My yoga practice is often my Me TLC time and a real treat. To be able to get an hour to reset, check in and re-charge wherever I need it. Sometimes a good workout is what I need and the physical element of yoga hits the spot. Other times it’s a mental reset or escape that’s needed. In this instance I find my yoga practice really allows me to find clarity and focus. What I love about yoga is that every day is different. Every practice is different and even though I may step onto the mat with a pre-conceived idea of what I need from my practice, it’s only when I start to move that i really know what I need.
It is so easy to neglect ourselves, I know for me it is often the first thing to go off the list when things get busy. I often feel guilty for taking time out for me but I have come to realise that finding time is not just important it’s essential. Whether you are the kind of person who plans the week ahead on a Sunday or someone who makes a plan each day I encourage you to find time every day for you. No phones, computers, tv or life distractions. Just time for you to be you, connect with yourself, talk to yourself honestly and most important listen.
Julie Burke is a yoga and wellness teacher and founder of Hotpod Yoga Dublin. Having trained all over the world and living abroad for 5 years she returned to Ireland in 2017 with a mission to enhance the wellness offering in Dublin through Hotpod Yoga. She opened her first studio in October 2017 with a second one on the way. Find out more about the KBC WellFest Summer Tour.