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How to Find Time for Yourself


However sociable you may be, there will come a point in time where you need to be alone. Do you ever find yourself longing for some time for yourself? Most of us are so busy either with work, school, and home life that often, there is no time left to do something that you enjoy. If you’re a hard-working employee or a diligent student, full-time parent and spouse, making time for yourself is tough. Nonetheless, you may find the following ways, to carve out that essential time you need to slow down, enjoy life, and rejuvenate yourself, germane and applicable.

Planning Time with Yourself
1. Evenings (days) with Yourself. Try to save certain weeknights just for you. If others ask you to do things those nights, just tell them you have plans. I, together with mom and siblings, stay in a humble abode somewhere in Makati. But aside from this, I have a separate apartment in Quezon City where i settle in during office days or when im in dire need of spending couple of days alone. Use the time for gardening, reading, exercise, thinking, or the ultimate luxury of doing nothing haha with everything you need for the day is within your reach like sandwiches, drinks, junk foods, remote controls, cellphones, PSP, pocketbooks.
2. Monthly Treat. Schedule a treat for yourself once a month at least. It could be on your lunch break, a weekend, or it could be leaving work early. Maybe you get a spa treatment, body massage, go see a movie (this i don’t fail doing), a haircut and hair relaxation, play golf (indoor with your Wii lol), facial treatment, diamond peel, get your nails done,  or whatever treat you’re always thinking about but rarely get to. Schedule it in and it will happen!
3. Buy Tickets in Advance (If you are into Sports like me), theatre play, concerts, or any other event you would enjoy. Schedule the plans with a friend later. Having the tickets already in hand will force you to make it happen! Like one time, i went to the Mall of Asia as i had nothing to do for the rest of the day after the morning worship service. I headed first to the coffee shop (this is the routine that i am accustomed to), while thinking of what activity i would do next. Seeing a movie was the idea that crossed my mind so, with my cup still half-empty, i proceeded to the movie ticketing booth and purchased one. The movie was set to be shown after an hour and a half so i still had ample time to take a mile walk at the Bayside - the customary romantic tryst for lovers (usually illicit hahaha). Later a friend phoned in asking me out for a drink. Logically, i declined as i had already purchased a movie ticket. My friend could have ruined the time devoted for myself were it not for the ticket that i bought in advance.
4. Leave Work on TimeHuh? Normally, i get in the office late. About an hour late LOL. But i leave the office usually at 6:00pm to compensate for the time i came in late. But generally, many of us stay at work late on a regular basis. If this is also you, make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week and then enjoy that time! Leave work at work. Don’t bring paperwork at home.
5. Join a GroupHere are some ideas of groups that can allow you some time away from work and home: singing group, body builders group, motorists association (not TODA haha), gardening group, deviant artists, bookworm clubs, quilting (or any other craft) circle, biking/walking/running clubs, ice skating club, etc. What are you interested in? Strike while the iron is hot. Look up a club in your area today and join! If you can’t find a club, consider starting one yourself.
6. Take an Adult Education ClassOoops i didn’t mean sex education. Take a fun class. If crafting is fun for you, then go ahead – call TESDA for free seminars. If not, then think about some of these ideas: foreign language, photography (not pornography), art, creative writing, or sports (archery, golf, yoga). A good friend preppie, tried belly-dancing and she’s now very good at it.
7. ExerciseFor busy people, it can be difficult to make time for this. But, you know what? You can do it!! All you have to do is decide today and then make it a reality early tomorrow. A new habit is started with just one step. Take that first step tomorrow. Walk for 20 minutes in the morning. And then build on that success daily. Vary how you spend that time. On some days use the time for thinking and daydreaming LOL. Other days listen to motivational audio and on that days that you want a real boost, listen to your favorite music! If you've been exercising for a while and you usually listen to music, try go without any input for a change. Instead, let your mind wander and expand. Not long ago, i used to run every morning in UP Diliman campus. My work starts at 9am so i wake up at dawn then go jogging. Try jogging too. There, you will meet health conscious people and possibly make new friends like i did. TIP: stuff your pocket with pain reliever oil or ointment. When, along the way, you meet a sprinter with sprained leg or ankle, offer help. Surely, s/he’ll become your friend and you will never trek the UP Campus alone anymore hahaha. On succeeding mornings, you bring a blanket and a couple of sandwiches so when you and your newly found friend get tired, change course and have a picnic in the sunken garden. Good luck!
 On the Go
 1. Commute Via Public TransportationIf you can, ditch your car, and let someone else do the driving (with or without driver’s license so long as you have petty cash to bribe the traffic enforcer when you get caught haha). Use that time to plan your day, do some reading, writing, creative thinking, or even meditation especially when you encounter a traffic mishap. Or get your old nokia phone and play snake haha. Jot down your high score on your diary.  In my case, i take the Light Rail Transit (LRT) on my way going home. It’s practically more convenient than driving a car considering the price of fuel nowadays and the heavy traffic in metro Manila thoroughfares. Traffic jams in Quezon Avenue to Taft Avenue alone usually take hours to disentangle whereas if you take train (LRT) from Monumento to La Salle, the travel time will be stripped to closely 30 mins not to mention the measly cost of the ticket which is only P15.00.

 2. Driving in Your Car. Make the most of this time. Vary how you spend that time. If you always listen to music, perhaps also try: educational radio stations, positive audio tapes (suggestion: “Follow Your Heart” by Andrew Matthews), provocative audio CDs like the ones being distributed by militant groups haha or even totally quiet time. Use that quiet time for brain storming but pay attention to the road. Either think in your head (avoid doing forty winks, for God’s sake you’re driving) or even talk your ideas out loud but be sure to close the windows as the other motorists may think you’re crazy talking to yourself. Bring a voice recorder. You could write a book or draft a good blog entry via voice recorder over time. Or you can practice perfect delivery of your self-authored and unique pick up lines hehehe.

 3. Waiting in the Car or Waiting for a ride. If you find that you have a certain amount of “waiting time” in your life, change how you perceive it. Instead of “waiting time” you can instantly change it into “me time” by bringing along reading, writing, or entertainment items. Or if you find yourself waiting and you don’t have any of these things use the time for creative thinking about your life or try some meditation. Try learning the sun dance as demonstrated by Sarah Geronimo in her recent movie “A very Special Love”. Yes, i watched that movie but i swear somebody (a die-hard fan of Sarah and the leading man) twisted my arm and coerced me to see the movie… with her. i took a nap while the film was playing and when i came back to senses, voila! i saw sarah doing the sundance haha.

 Synergy
1. Two Birds, One Stone. Look for ideas where you can fit in time for you within things you need to do already or that will have multiple benefits. 
2. Walk to Work. This is a great one because you’re accomplishing many things at once. You’re getting exercise, you have time to think or enjoy music/audio, and you’re helping to save the environment. You may also be lucky to find dropped coins or valuable stuff along the way.
3. Arrive Early. Any appointment that you have, plan to arrive 15-30 minutes early. Then use this time for you: reading, writing, meditation, relaxation, thinking, chiq hunting, organizing your phonebook (i delete inexistent numbers), whatever.
4. Volunteering. There are so many benefits from this. You make a difference for others, you escape work and personal worries, and you grow as a person. If you could help one organization or group, which would it be? OK, now go ahead and Google them and find out how you can help - even if it’s just once a year.
5Side Job. Find a side job at which you can make money, but that will also allow you to do something you love. Some ideas: coaching, teaching a class (art, writing, sport, hobby, anything else you know well), or training others (what special skills do you have that you could share with others? singing, windsurfing, math?)
6. Lunch Alone. Try sneaking away for a quiet lunch alone on a park bench or even in your car. Enjoy some quiet time with no one to talk to and no audio inputs.

Time Away from Kids
1Organize “Mom’s Morning Out” Circle. If you have a friend or group of friends, you could arrange to share babysitting services a few times a month so that others in the group get some time alone.

2. Babysitters. Make a plan to have a babysitter that you trust watch your children once a month or once a week so that you can get some time for yourself. The key here is to take action and make it happen. If you want more time for yourself, you can get it. Just don’t be afraid to ask. You may either ask your sister or a relative to keep an eye on your children while you go strolling, shopping, or other activities which you miss doing in a considerable period.

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