Adult Time Out

Adult Time Out

Heard anyone playing the “I’m busier than you!” game lately?  Why are we all running around ragged, trying to be busier than everyone else?  Why do we value busyness?  Why not, instead, value mindful use of time?

How can you grow as a person, develop relationships, show gratitude, love life when you’re so busy that all of your energy is spent figuring out how to get through the myriad of tasks on your family calendar?

Slow down.  When your kids unravel, you give them a time out.  Adults need those too. The trick is to figure out what you need to be centered, calm and grateful and make time for it.  Plan your time outs before you need them.  Schedule unscheduled time for you and for you with your people.  Figure out what makes you happy.  Then do it and be happy.

There are very few true introverts or extraverts.  Each of us just tips further to one side on the scale.  We all need time alone and time with people.  Finding the right balance takes time, effort and persistence.  Schedule next week with this in mind and each night make notes of how you feel at the end of the day.  Look back at those notes and tweak your schedule for next week.  You’re striving for improvement, not perfection.  Just get better at it each week.  Your needs will change over time and if you work a week at a time, you can adapt.

For me, I schedule time every day for just me.  During busier times of the year, I often take 2 breaks a day. I make sure I have a date once a week with my husband and time with each kid alone. We also each spend at least 10 minutes per night tucking each child in, listening to their stories and telling our own.  I strive for time with one friend per week, knowing that friendships outside our family help bring laughter, perspective and growth.   Finally, we keep Sundays free for our family to just exist at home – it is the end of one week and the refreshing beginning to the next. 

This recipe works for me and my family – it’s balanced, gives me time to reflect as well as connect.  Mindfully schedule your week so you have unscheduled time for you and for relationships with those you care about most.