self care 50s women

Want more time for self-care? Ask yourself these 3 questions

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a 2-part series on energy management. In case you missed them, you can check out How to Manage Your Energy – Step 1 here and Step 2 here.

I hope you’ve had a chance to not only read through the two steps, but actually complete the exercises I gave you in both so that you can begin to fill your days with activities that bring you energy, while minimizing or eliminating the activities in your day that drain your energy. I share how to do that in those two steps above.

Today, I wanted to talk just a little more about time because I discuss it a lot with my clients and online communities.

Time and self-care go hand in hand because self-care does, in fact, take time – everything from exercise, to sleep, to preparing healthy meals for yourself, to immersing yourself a relaxing, well-deserved bath at the end of a hard day takes some time.

As a result, how to spend your time, create more time, and be more productive with your time has become an area of study that has not only been helpful for me, but my clients as well.

I continue to discover that we women tend to be very generous with the giving of our time. So generous, in fact, that it often leads to feeling overwhelmed, drained, and sometimes resentful, because it takes away from time we could be spending on ourselves.

To reduce these feelings, I don’t necessarily think we should stop giving and being generous with our time and energy – it can be a very kind and virtuous act; instead, we should begin to be more mindful about what we choose to say “Yes” to and fill our schedule with.

Keep in mind that when we say “Yes” to something, we’re saying “No” to something else. Usually, that “No” is indirectly (or directly!) on our own wants and needs.

It’s important to also remember that you do have a choice in most cases of what’s on your schedule. The fact that we have the choice of saying “Yes” or “No” should remind us that we are in charge of our schedule. In other words, we should run our schedule – our schedule shouldn’t run us!

Perhaps as you examined your own schedule over the past few weeks through the exercises I gave you, you’ve begun to observe some of your current responsibilities.

If so, I have three simple, yet important questions you can begin to ask yourself about each of your current duties, so that you can start feeling in charge of your day and make sure that your day-to-day schedule (which over time is your life), is aligned with who you want to be and where you want to go.

The three questions to ask yourself as you look at each of your tasks on your schedule are:

  • What am I doing?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Where is this taking me?

I believe that if you begin to ask yourself these three questions with each of your current responsibilities, it will help you determine what, if anything, you could be doing differently – perhaps eliminating or delegating those duties that you maybe shouldn’t be or don’t want to be doing right now because they’re taking away from your health and self-care in some way.

When it comes to new opportunities, you can also ask yourself those same three questions BEFORE you commit, but with a slightly different spin:

  • What will I be doing?
  • Why will I be doing this?
  • Where will this take me?

I hope these three questions are helpful as you continue to create a life of health and happiness in midlife!