By Nicole Barnett
How often do you find yourself lying in bed at night, making brilliant plans that you are 100% sure you’ll be able to achieve come the next day (starting of course, with that elusive 5am start)? And how often do these instantly begin unraveling the minute you accidentally snooze 12 times and wake up late for work?
Our world is a busy one, where our own goals can sometimes get pushed aside in favour of others – be it our kids, our partner, our wider family or our work. It can be easy to perceive putting yourself first as selfish – I’m definitely guilty of this. But is it really selfish to take the time to engage in a bit of self-love? Surely the executive who decides not to stay late in favour of making her often-neglected yoga class; or the dad who takes a night to himself to make some progress on that dusty personal project (the home distillery!); will be far more able to take on the challenges of the next day than their self-loveless counterparts?
We thought about some of the big hurdles to self-love in our own lives, and came up with a few ideas to overcome these in Mighty style:
“The morning is the best time for me to fit in some time to myself, but all my good intentions of waking early are dashed when my alarm goes off! I find myself hitting snooze until all that me-time is gone and it’s time to get to work” – Scarlett
This was a unanimous problem across most of the Mighty office, and no doubt across yours too (whether your office is in a central city skyscraper, or in the cab of a tractor). Here are some tips we’ve found to capture back your morning hours:
- Structure your day so that the topic of waking early and the benefits it brings is repeated periodically – listen to podcasts and TED talks about early risers, so that the idea of it becomes more familiar to you. We really liked this talk by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOEB1Fr0_MM (his accent is a bit hard to understand, but the content is excellent), and the podcast The 5am Miracle by Jeff Sanders – you can download the app for this podcast (it has its own!) from Google Play or the App Store.
- Tempt yourself out of bed when that first alarm goes off with the promise of a special treat just for early mornings – like research for an upcoming holiday, a freshly ground coffee (only the good stuff), or a luscious dollop of yoghurt topped with berries and Mighty Food Kitchen granola
- Embrace gradual change – instead of trying to shock your system into a 5am start, try winding back the clock by 10-15 minutes at a time. This gives your body clock time to adjust
“My family commitments come before I do, and by the time they’ve been met – there’s just no time left for me!” – Keri-Anne
This is an age-old problem which we as a society are still struggling with today – think about working parents with kids, or looking after a family member who is ill, how can one juggle all those work and life commitments while being able to add in the third ball of time for yourself? It’s a tough question, but here are some ideas to get started:
- Allow yourself a micro-vacation on your own – book in at a local hotel, or go for a drive to a nearby town or city you love and stay there for a night (or even two!). While a week away would be ideal, for many of us it is just not possible to find a babysitter, carer or family member to take over our responsibilities for a whole week. So pack an overnight bag with your comfy trackies, favourite treats and a great book, and enjoy a night dedicated solely to you.
- Sometimes all you want is to be in your own home, without the kids! Make a deal with a friend or family member with kids of their own, whereby you alternate weekend care of all of them. This gives each of you two weekends a month to do your own thing at home or wherever you like, sans the little ones.
- Take a half day’s leave and go for a walk in a local park or treat yourself to a lie in. Coming into spring there are some beautiful walks about place – such as the Parnell Rose Gardens in Auckland, the Hagley Park spring blossoms in Christchurch, or the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.
Time is a struggle – there’s no doubt about that. But we want to leave you today with a true story that we hope will help you reconsider where you could find some of this elusive stuff in your own life.
It starts with a young man, who found himself at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies, where they were actively changing the way people interacted with eachother, and the world around them. Every day he deals with the press (both good and bad), approves directions and designs, inspires his workers and implements new, creative ways to ensure they enjoy their time at work. He volunteers time and money to educational, health, tech, and immigration reform causes, attends events, and gives speeches. Safe to say – he’s a pretty busy guy.
But despite it all, all the 50-60 hour weeks at work, social obligations and media logistics, he STILL managed to teach himself one of the world’s most difficult languages, which takes about 88 weeks, or 2,200 hours, to reach speaking and reading proficiency. How does he do it?? Well, we couldn’t reach him for comment unfortunately – something about not being able to just find Mark Zuckerberg’s contact info on Linkedin or something… But an interesting story isn’t it. If Mark can find time, maybe we can too?
We’d love to continue the conversation with you – and hear about your strategies for prioritising yourself in today’s world. So leave us a comment below and let’s get the ideas flowing – you never know, Mark might be looking for a bit of inspiration!