15 Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

This time of year is rife with stress, so we need to take the time to treat ourselves right. It helps us be our best the rest of the time, as well as to enjoy the holidays and time with loved ones!

Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

  1. Whenever possible, take your time in the shower. Hot showers are especially relaxing and soothing. It may be one of life’s necessities but the shower itself can give you time to think through things that are bothering you, hopefully without interruption.
  2. Take a walk. If you can, take a walk by yourself to just think and revel in the beauty around you. If you take a walk with a friend, talking can be therapeutic too. Sometimes we need or want to take the children in our lives on a walk too. It’s still a good way to set aside time for yourself. Take advantage of the quiet moments while also striking a balance with teaching them. I find it relaxing to just point out things and talk to my nephews while walking. Sometimes it’s not relaxing when they ask the same question five times in a row but it’s still usually fun.
  3. Workout. Just in general, spend time getting your workout. Put yourself first for the time being and get that workout in. You can release frustrations, uncertainties, and even celebrate life’s victories. Plus you get the added benefit of knowing you’re doing something wonderful for your body which gives you some peace of mind.
  4. Write in a journal or notebook. Take the time to write out how you feel, discuss your day, figure things out, or even make plans. I find writing out my day and discussing how I feel is so beneficial!
  5. Cuddle with your favorite person/pet. The time spent cuddling your children or other loved ones, or simply cuddling with or petting your dog or cat can be good for your mental wellbeing.
  6. Sit and breathe. Quiet your mind, maybe even close your eyes. If you believe in God, talk to Him. Either way, take time to reflect on your day and all of your blessings, all of the positives in your life. It truly sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying to do this more often myself and know I feel better about life just relying on God and reflecting on any good things in my life.
  7. Do something for someone else. You may ask, how is doing something for someone else setting aside time for me? I’ll tell you… doing something for someone else makes them feel good, which in turn makes you feel good to help them. I love helping others and do so not to get something in return, but it still makes me feel good to do so!
  8. Go shopping for something fun! This is hard for some of us, as money is tight or we may face temptation to spend to much… but if you can, a little retail therapy can go a long way. Even stopping in the Dollar Tree or somewhere else that has low price items and browsing the aisles to pick out a few things can boost your sense of wellbeing.
  9. Read (books, magazines, articles, etc.). Read something that you enjoy! Getting lost in a story or something pleasant can be such a nice way to put yourself first because it’s FUN!
  10. Self-care: Hair, skin, nails, etc. Spend some time on self-care. It makes you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you have certain self-care things in order! Take a manicure or a pedicure (or both), having nice nails is so rewarding!
  11. Haircut/coloring. Going to get your hair cut or get a color can be a mostly relaxing experience. My last haircut, I got a quiet beautician and I just let myself go, zoning out and just being. It was so enjoyable. I never experienced something like that. You could also find joy in having a conversation with the beautician as well! Either way is nice!
  12. Organizing or cleaning. Such a weird, but therapeutic thing to do once you get into it. Organizing is fun because you’re getting things in order, cleaning is fun because after you’re done, something is clean! Sure it’s a pain to do sometimes but the results are refreshing!
  13. Writing out cards or notes/letters to loved ones. Writing out your thoughts and making loved ones feel cherished and valued is time well spent! You will feel better when it’s done because a lot of us go through our days without much opportunity to say how we feel some of the time. So setting aside some time to do that will lighten your heart!
  14. Art. If you like to draw or paint, that is another way to set aside time for yourself. Lose yourself in your work and make something beautiful.
  15. Sit down to enjoy a sweet treat you really want. Life is too short not to enjoy something you really want once in a while. Treat yourself. Just make sure you enjoy it so it’s worth it!

These are some of my favorite ways to set aside time for myself. Those things really give me a sense of peace, or accomplishment, or both. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on the organizing and cleaning one, but once I do it is such a rewarding experience. I also am not a big on drawing or painting anymore but from time to time it is fun!

I hope you all liked my list. What are your favorite ways to set aside time for yourself? It could be simple like most of these or it could be something more elaborate. I’d love to hear what you do! We could all use ways to improve our sense of wellbeing!

~Bonnie~

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Leslie Sansone’s Thanksgiving Walk Challenge

Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home workout videos have been a favorite of mine since I discovered them in 2009. They have been a great tool in helping me lose weight this time around as well since they are low impact and allow me to exercise indoors when I need to. I started using her DVDs by checking them out from my local library and alternating them every two weeks until I was finally able to buy my own. At that point I bought two of her DVDs and also ended up finding the one of hers that I had originally used (it’s funny how that works out huh?).

I just love her workouts because she is like a cheerleader, but not annoying about it. I love her encouraging words while doing the workouts in my living room and often will find myself answering or responding to her while I’m exercising! I just love her energy and enthusiasm! It’s clear she loves what she’s doing and she loves helping whoever is using her videos. I also really like how she involves the women she has in her videos and chats with them as they’re exercising. It makes me feel like it’s all some big group and we’re all working together.

Well, recently I saw someone posting about her walk challenge on another website and it got me curious. Why hadn’t I thought to like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter before? So I did just that and am inspired that she is still very actively involved with her fans and following! This challenge is a great example of that and you can walk outside, indoors, wherever to get your walking in!

Here is one of her Tweets from today regarding the challenge:

Leslie is truly inspiring in more ways than one. She has made fitness and healthy living a way of life for herself and is spreading this love to others! If you’ve never checked out one of her videos, I encourage you to check out a video on YouTube if you can find one. Some of them get deleted quite often, but if you try it and like it you can always buy a DVD on Amazon or eBay for a low price!

If you would also like to follow Leslie Sansone on her pages, here is her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieSansone and here is her Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeslieWalks. Also just to be thorough, if you want to check out her actual website, you can find that here: http://www.walkathome.com/.

I hope you like her workouts (and her) as much as I do. I truly don’t know where I would be without her workout videos helping me get started and continue on my weight loss journey. For comparison, I have tried other walking videos and also regularly use the On Demand walking videos from XFINITY but I still prefer Leslie’s over all else and so do many other people!

~Bonnie~

My Half Marathon Training Plan

A couple days ago I got the okay from a doctor to start running again, slowly and listening to my feet. I’m not fully convinced my feet are completely ready but there’s only one way to find out, right?

Some preliminary information on my half marathon is located at this blog post: Tinker Bell Half Marathon where I posted pictures of some gear I would like to bring with me and/or wear. The half marathon is at the beginning of May. I was inspired by a friend who did this year’s Tinker Bell Half and also seeing a runDisney race on an Extreme Weight Loss episode shortly after starting my weight loss journey. I did an web search right away, where I found the Tinker Bell race and instantly fell in love. However, if it weren’t for my friend (let’s call her A), I would never have dreamt of doing a half marathon! I’m so thankful for her inspiration because it opened up so many avenues and possibilities for me that I never would have dreamed possible for myself.

half marathon training plan

My plan is to start by following Jeff Galloway’s beginner’s training plan from Beginners Plan. It starts with 5 second running and 55 seconds walking for a run/walk program, however I might start at 15 seconds. I will try the 5 seconds first, and then move up faster than is in the plan he has there. The eight week program would only get me to running 15 seconds at once and I think even with my feet issue I can get up to running 60-90 seconds minimum by the end of week eight if I’m careful.

That will take me to the end of December, at which point I hope to start the half marathon training just to make sure I have enough time worked in for my personal needs. It will be the first plan (for runners and walkers) on this page: Half Marathon Training. If I start from wherever I left off with the eight week beginner’s training, working at my own pace and needs, then I can work my way up in the seventeen weeks with that.

The week before the half marathon I know I need to do some kind of tapering to prepare. I’m really not sure how to go about this, and unless I’m missing something I can’t find specific information about it on Jeff Galloway’s website. After some preliminary searches on other running websites, it seems like this is a topic that’s based on personal needs/preference so I’m going to do more research on this and find what works best for me.

I just find some more detailed information here: Top Tips for a Successful Taper from the Chicago Half Marathon website. It says two weeks is good before a half and describes exactly what the tapering means. Now looking back on the Jeff Galloway plan, I will already be doing this tapering method with his training plan. So if I follow the half marathon training plan from Jeff Galloway’s website, and the tapering tips from the Chicago Half Marathon website, then I should be golden! (Anyone with experience with tapering for a long race that would care to chime in, suggestions are welcome!)

Now with my feet still being an ongoing issue, I know I might not be able to run the full half marathon, or even run as much as I would like to. However, as long as I am moving fast enough for the race guidelines, which is 16 minutes or less per mile average, I will be fine. This means if I can average a 15 minute mile or faster with walking breaks then I won’t be pulled out, and I have no doubt that I can at least do that. Some people can walk at that fast of a pace, surely with some walking breaks I can “run” at that pace. I have to keep reminding myself of this part because sometimes I wonder if I will get pulled out for moving too slowly due to my feet or other factors.

So there you have it, my training plan now that I have the okay from a medical professional. I do believe I still need to see a podiatrist to make sure everything is truly okay, but that can wait for now. I know I have supportive shoes that fit my feet well, which are the Brooks Ravenna 5’s and if I really listen to my feet, resting when needed and training on days my feet feel better, I will do well.

I’m excited to finally embark on this training stage after four months of foot pain and being in limbo so to speak. It’s finally happening! I hope it goes well!

~Bonnie~