Time: Take More of It for Yourself

Count to ten. No, not that fast. Here, let me help you, close your eyes, take a deep breath and, as you exhale—slowly—count 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10.

In completing that exercise, you took time to stop and focus on yourself—and you did it without much effort I bet.

Even though that moment took little effort to complete, the reality is most of us can’t find enough of these moments to constitute a feeling of contentment. Our days are filled to the brim with the things we need, want, and have to do—our schedules overrun with both what we can and, probably, shouldn’t carry.

Here’s a bit of science for you to consider: A minute is comprised of 60 seconds and, over the course of our 16 waking hours, we watch 960 (on average) of those minutes float away in all the things we need to get done. Understanding that, how is it that most of us can’t take even a few of those 960 minutes for ourselves?

Of course, suggesting that you make time where there is none is like waiting for pigs to fly, so here’s a plan that even the most time-strained individual should be able to follow: find five minutes within every hour that is just for you—trust me when I say those five minutes are there for the taking—and use them to declutter your mind, focus on positive energy, and take in the moment—no matter what is going on within it—so that you can remember what it’s like to be “present” as a sentient being. 

Sure, the time might be more purposeful if it’s spent in a candle-lit room, filled with soothing music, but by no means is that the only way to find perfect peace. You can learn to quiet your mind even when it’s embedded within the world’s chaos and step one is remembering that you have the power to quiet your mind and refocus your energy.

A trick I’ve used is to tell myself that the more chaotic things are, the calmer I should become. My brain, my consciousness, my psyche, my spirit—whatever you wish to call it—is programmed to use chaos as a trigger for peace within my body.

That said, you have to find what works for you.

90 minutes is what you should be able to give yourself. If that sounds like a lot, it isn’t—it’s only 15 percent of your average day—and believe me when I say you are worth that and then some.


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