Let’s face it, as young adults there isn’t much room for “me” time. We have a lot of pressures in our day and age: working towards our goals, managing social media, planning financially for our future, juggling travel and hard work. We are working (hard, and long hours), we are trying to figure out a simple rhythm to our lives; we are seeking balance.
All of this comes with a price, and it’s a difficult price to pay sometimes. However, my hope for you is that it doesn’t come at the expense of your well-being. In order to help us on this sometimes-messy journey of life it’s essential that we focus on taking care of ourselves. And that means cutting out some time for you and you only.
1. You’re frustrated for no reason.
Actually, there is no such thing as “no reason.” There is always a reason as to why we sometimes just feel pissed off, we just may not know what caused it or how to fix it. Have you ever been simply annoyed and don’t know why? This is sure sign that you are craving to not be around people, even if they are your loved ones. You just need to get away, go be pissed off alone! We hurt the ones we love when we don’t honor this, we sometimes say something out of emotion and not logic. Even if that means just stepping into another room for a few minutes to talk yourself off the ledge. You can do this, just catch yourself in the moment.
2. You’re being pulled into other people’s drama.
All of a sudden when people call you about their problems you start crabbing with them. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with venting every so often (even a lot for that matter) but it’s when you can literally feel your energy shift and take a downward spiral is when you need to take a step back. Having empathy for people is much different then getting sucked into their drama. After one of these heavy conversations is when you need to retreat inward, take a breather, and face your own problems head on.
3. You Overeat.
I am what they call an emotional eater. When stress and anxiety start to creep up in my life, I reach for something crunchy right away. So I know how incredibly difficult this one can be. When I have those days where I go right to my pantry when I come home, is a sure sign I need some alone time with myself – and with nothing in my hand. It’s OK to indulge and believe me, I do. But when it starts to become more than “occasional” I try to replace that feeling with a productive activity. For me, reading or writing is my first choice, if it’s really bad, I’ll go straight to my treadmill or gym.
4. You are criticizing yourself.
This is when you need alone time the most. When you start to subconsciously punish yourself for doing or not doing something is when you need to practice self-compassion quickly. There are many ways to exercise compassion. I have an “encouragement” file in my office at home that I’ll look at when I am feeling down. Or I’ll take a nice hot bubble bath, with candles, and go into deep relaxation with myself. Also, realize that your negative thoughts about yourself are not true. They simply are lies. I have affirmations everywhere reminding me of my power and who I am really am.
5. You are so exhausted.
There’s sleepy. There’s tired. And there’s exhaustion. Maybe you didn’t get much sleep last night and it’s making you more sluggish today, I understand that. However, when you are sleeping through the night, and still exhausted by 4:00pm, it’s a sure sign you need to take some time to yourself – even if that means take a nap! Tiny naps in the afternoon really help relieve stress, and sometimes they are so needed in our busy lives.
6. If you’re with someone every moment of the day.
Human beings are made to connect. We are around people a lot in our everyday lives. It can seem so normal to constantly be around someone, especially if you live with them. From time to time just check in with yourself to and think, “when was the last time I’ve actually done something for myself, by myself?”
7. You’ve been non-stop busy all day.
You know the moment when you first walk in the house after a long days of work? Bags in your hands, keys thrown anywhere, if you have kids or pets then you can picture their eyes beaming at your for some attention. We all have those days where every hour is packed with some activity, phone call, or errand. I would highly encourage you to take just five minutes to regroup before you start the responsibilities of the evening.
8. When other people tell you something seems off.
Now, I’m talking about your most trusted people in your life. When they can sense you feeling agitated easily or if you’re feeling down, it might be something to look into. Having “you” time can involve some of your closest friends – maybe it’s a night out, or a long walk. Whatever feels good to you, anything that sounds even remotely relaxing – do it.
9. You’re quick to bite someone’s head off.
Another term for this is also short-tempered. There is a difference between being reactive and responsive. When you act without thinking anything through, you’re being reactive. For example, when my little puppy Grace takes a crap on my freshly cleaned carpet after she was just outside and I freak out. If I were being responsive I would think it through clearly and know she is just a puppy and I need to be patient when training her. Most of my daily thoughts I can sum up with one sentence “take a breath Hailey, think it through.” It actually helps – (most of the time.)
10. You find it difficult to complete the simplest task.
This is not the same as laziness. We all have streaks of being lazy, and even for periods of time. But, when you can’t even bring yourself to shave in the shower (which can be annoying, right ladies?), or if you can’t muster up the energy to do your hair and look presentable then you really need to be alone, take some time, and re-group.
Try not to be so hard on yourself if you find you are in one of these slumps – heck even all of them. I have dealt with every single one of these and it’s amazing how simply being aware of these signs have dramatically helped. All of these signals are interconnected and you can start to see the pattern. The main point is that we want to be conscientious of our triggers, to start to notice when we feel these things in our body and to take action. The worst is being stuck and not knowing how to get out of it. Now go and spend some time with yourself – you deserve it!