Reclaim Your Time

Buckle up, Love, it’s life hack time.

Mondays, for a lot of people, are the start of the workweek and the day to sit down and look at all the week’s priorities! I am no exception. Luckily, this week, my workload is relatively light.

Last week, though, WHOO! I had no idea how I was going to get anything done. All of Monday, I kept looking at my watch and wondering where all my time had gone. It felt like time was slipping through my fingers like a bad version of a Salvador Dalí painting. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a day like that, but for me it made every tiny little thing feel overwhelming. I could tell that, if I kept trying to keep up a “just hunker down and get through it” pace with no breathing room, I would soon be tipping toward a feeling of helplessness… And I did NOT want that.

So even though my week started out feeling sad and droopy like Dalí clocks, time melting away from me, I decided to do something new. After a little bit of meditating on it, I tried something a little counterintuitive to do with my time: I got stubborn about it. I put my to-do list aside and decided — no matter how much I had to do — I would NOT compromise on my me-time. 

I’m an introvert which means I need a good amount of alone time to recharge. My quiet time, for the rest of the week, became my priority. For me, that looked like time to do 1 of 2 things: meditate or read. Even just being stubbornly protective of 20-minutes in my day started making me feel like time was moving differently. It wasn’t, of course: the clock didn’t tick any faster or slower because I decided to meditate. Because I reclaimed time for myself, though, (not for my to-do list) I was able to be more present. I was able to slowly, deliberately, cross items off my to-do list instead of rushing through them like a maniac. It felt like taking those droopy Dalí clocks and resetting them back to normal.

When overwhelm hits, it’s a natural reaction to try and power through our to-do lists in the hope that crossing something off the list will make things easier. We hope it will make things feel less overwhelming. In practice, though, that doesn’t work very well. No matter how hard you power through, somehow, things keep getting added to that to-do list. Plus! We can only try to “power through” the feelings of overwhelm and helplessness for so long until they catch up to us. You wouldn’t try to sprint a marathon, would you? No! So why try and speed through your to-do list? 

Instead, what I’ve found to be extremely healing is to take time—even if it’s only 20 minutes a week.  Heck, even if it’s only 20 minutes in a month! Just take that 20-minutes and check-in with yourself: what do you need for yourself in that 20 minutes?  What’s most important for you to stubbornly protect?

Try it out this week! Take some time to sit. If you have a physical to-do list, I recommend sitting as far away from that list and your phone as you can. You can sit with a book if you’d like. You can sit with a journal or some crayons to color with. You can sit on your own with your eyes closed in meditation. Just take some time for you.

Don’t think you have some time this week? That’s ok. Block 20 minutes on your calendar for next week. Just make sure you honor that time no matter what, ok? Get stubborn about your “me” time. Reclaim time for yourself. You deserve your time and attention just as much as that to-do list does.

Blog written with love by Christina Dunlap: a Boulder Psychic Institute teacher and professional psychic. Check her out in the ‘Professional Readers’ section of our website.

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