By Karin Leonard
As a nation, we are working harder
and resting less. In the
last 20 years, work time for the average North American has increased by
15%, while leisure has decreased by 33 %. No wonder
burnout rates are soaring! To
move towards greater balance, in these next couple articles we will
explore how to reclaim free time.
Between work, family and
home, how much time do you have left for yourself?
Do you crave time to do what you want, yet feel like it will
never happen? Is everyone and everything else on the top of your list?
Begin with claiming moments for yourself.
Even if you cannot change
the big picture of your schedule for now, you can stake out time and
space for yourself. During
the day, notice opportunities to make your day more meaningful.
Take regular breaks, and savor them fully:
step outside for a quick walk or sip a cup of delicious tea, take
a quiet lunch and read something you love, or take a few minutes to
journal. Transition times,
like your way home from work, can provide another opportunity to sneak a
few calm minutes. Pull into
a park or stop into coffee shop to luxuriate in your own company.
With a bit of practice and determination, you will continue to
discover hidden opportunities for leisure in your day.
the week, allow time for renewal on a regular basis.
Plan some time to go within, from a few minutes to a couple
hours. Turn off the world,
and tune into your inner being.
This is time to connect
deeply with your soul, an oasis away from everyday life.
During such an occasion, become still and deeply calm.
Meditate, journal, read or reflect.
How to do this with a house
full of family? You may
want to teach your children early on to honor “quiet time.”
During that designated hour or so, each member of the household
engages in a calm activity, be it reading, meditating or drawing.
In the long run, establishing peaceful time is not only a sanity
break for you, but also a great gift to your children: to learn how to be quietly with themselves, in a world filled
exercise among the “really want to do it -- but have no time for it”
items on your list? For
workouts to happen on a regular basis, they need to “organically”
fit into your life. When
scheduling your week, think about when and where you could exercise.
Whether you like taking walks, belong to a gym, or prefer to work
out at home, treat your fitness breaks like regular appointments.
Plan realistic exercise into your weekly schedule.
If you know, for example, that leaving for a workout after you
get home is unlikely, plan for an exercise stop on your way from work.
Most importantly, find exercise you love, you will be more likely
to make it a priority.