For many people, it is easy to get stuck in the same daily routine where you wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. Of course, there is so much more that goes into your day, but how much of that time do you actually allocate for yourself?
Of course, when you work long hours and have other responsibilities such as taking care of your family, it is hard to carve out that time for yourself. However, as a working professional and the father of a child with special needs who requires round the clock attention and supervision, I am here to tell you that all hope is not lost.
While it is cliché to say, “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” I do believe that there are ways to maximize your time in order to provide a healthy outlet for yourself. The key is to identify those precious few minutes where there could be an opening for “me time” and then jump on it. It might not be every day you get these openings, but once you find where they are and do something for yourself during that time, you will feel like a weight has been lifted.
For example, I have identified Thursday nights after 8 pm as a time during my week where I am not at work and my wife is home from work and able to take care of our son. I have allotted those nights to playing in a volleyball league with friends. On those nights, I am able to have my adult time, I am able to get a great workout, and I am able to let loose and have fun.
Personally, there is nothing I’d rather be doing with that aforementioned “me time” than playing volleyball, and so that is what I choose to do. It makes me feel good to get out there on the court, to commiserate with friends, and engage in friendly competition.
For her part, my wife has identified Friday mornings as the best time during the week that she can do things for herself. The outlet she has chosen is yoga and meditation, and she regularly takes classes on those mornings.
We have both found that having these pockets of time and doing something for ourselves make us feel refreshed, re-energized, and ready to tackle whatever is next on the busy home and work fronts. The other unseen benefit is that when you have that outlet, you will find yourself working at a more productive level because you were able to recharge so now you can be more focused on the tasks at hand.
The biggest takeaway from all of this once you realize there can still be a little bit of time for you during the week, it can make a world of difference. After all, once you realize there might be an hour one day or even just 30 minutes on another day, you can, in those moments, find the right healthy outlet for you.
Ultimately, I have found that the sense of freedom that comes with that realization can be priceless, and I am sure you will, too.