• Taking Time for Yourself

    (image by Sara Wert of Modern Kids Photography)

    A few months ago I realized that I was spending all of my day working and/or doing stuff for others and neglecting the little things that I really liked to do for myself, things that gave me real satisfaction and enjoyment. Things were feeling unbalanced. Has this every happened to you? I had even forgotten what some of the things were that I liked to do!

    So I decided to sit down and make a list of activities that I really truly enjoyed doing for myself and made sure to do at least one every day. Regardless of time, inconvenience for others, or other tasks not getting done. I tried to make them top priority.
    Have you ever done something like this? Or have you  found yourself in a similar situation?

    Keep reading to see what was on my list…

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    Cooking + Baking. I know some people hate spending time in the kitchen but I love it. I honestly look forward to cooking dinner and making a meal for my family each day. Earlier last year Jared and I switched roles. He needed to take time off from work, and I needed to dedicate more time to work- so he became my stay at home husband. I was surprised, amongst other things, how hard it was for me to not cook meals everyday. I really did miss it! Even though I was working full time I looked forward to the time in the kitchen in the late afternoon and so we soon switched things around so I could still cook. Even when I have a busy day I try to cook dinner, although it would be easier to go out, just because I know how much I enjoy it!

    Music. When I was younger I danced ballet, took piano, sang, and then played guitar in college. But somehow as an adult I don’t really do any of those things anymore, and I often feel a void in that area of my life. I’m not sure why I haven’t made time for it, but life just got busy and as I had said before, sometimes these little enjoyable hobbies get shoved aside. Jared and I had a goal a couple weeks ago (these weekly goals were part of our new years resolutions I talked about here) to play guitar each night together and it ended up being so enjoyable, relaxing, and a great relationship builder. I now try to do it more frequently.

    Rock climbing. So I started climbing only about a year ago and I can’t remember a physical hobby that I’ve enjoyed more. I felt almost embarrassed to stumble upon a new hobby at 32 (not sure why, maybe because rock climbing is kind of trendy here. Friday nights at the gym are a scene). But for a long time I truly would rather go to the climbing gym that to a movie (I know, weird, right?). We’ve also done a few climbing trips like the one above in Yosemite this past fall. Again, it’s been a great thing to do as a couple and the physical challenge of it is really rewarding, and a great stress relief. There was a time I was going everyday, even if just to boulder by myself. I always seem to conquer my to-do list more effectively when I spend a little time at the rock climbing gym everyday. So rock climbing was definitely on the list.

    (image by JetKat photo)

    Biking. I’m always surprised what a good mood I find myself in when I choose to bike to the store instead of getting in the car.  Since we live in a very drivable part of the city, sometimes I’m not outside as much as I’d like. From car to school to store to car to home. Something about being outside on the bike, riding through golden gate park or just down the street to the store is really invigorating. Like a brisk evening walk x 10!

    Do you try to do something every day that you enjoy for yourself? What would be on your list?

      
  • 33 comments

    1. Ace said… March 17, 2013 10:55 am

      I had those feelings,too!! I finally took a step back and started making time for me again. And love it! Congratulations in identifying the things that give you enjoyment and pursing them!

      All the best!
      -Ace

    2. Fiona said… March 11, 2013 11:49 pm

      Lovely post. It’s so easy to forget to do something that we love. I find that baking and sewing are on my list, as well as being active. I haven’t found an active hobby that I love yet, so maybe that’s a good goal to have as we hit spring! Thanks for the inspiration!

    3. Kat said… March 8, 2013 10:14 am

      Love this post! I discovered climbing a few years ago, but really got into it at 23. I’ve been climbing now for almost two years and love how it challenges me and what it gives me. :)

      • Liz Stanley said… March 10, 2013 9:37 pm

        It’s so fun, right! Fun to meet another climber!

    4. kalanicut said… March 7, 2013 7:33 pm

      Lovely post Liz. Yes this has been a major priority of mine lately – self care and doing more than just be contented with my life but actually really living joyfully. It really keeps a girl from getting cranky when she’s doing a little something for herself every day. And honestly, as much as we make excuses that we can’t fit it in, or other people’s demands on our time are keeping us from doing things we like, our family, friends and coworkers really do like us better when we take good care of ourselves and are pleasant to be around. :)

    5. Lisa P said… March 6, 2013 8:17 pm

      Thanks for this, needed the reminder this week that it is okay to put yourself first.

    6. eLIZabeth Floyd said… March 6, 2013 5:10 pm

      Maybe it is the moving out of winter into spring that we begin to notice that our life is out of balance in some ways, because I have been really struggling with this lately. The one thing I am making an effort to include in my life are long walks…. I love them for the meditative quality they bring into my life… and the opportunity to be outside and notice how the world is beginning to wake up.

      Thanks for discussing this topic.

      Liz

      • Liz Stanley said… March 10, 2013 9:39 pm

        That sounds really nice. I need to add more long walks into my daily routine as well :)

    7. Katie said… March 6, 2013 5:57 am

      Hi – Just stumbled across your blog from Jen Loves Kev…and I love this post! A friend of mine gave me a journal with the specific purpose of writing down things I like and things I don’t like…and I love it! Thanks for the reminder of taking time for myself!

    8. chinkara said… March 5, 2013 9:06 am

      liz, you forgot trike-ing. i forgive you.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 10, 2013 9:38 pm

        Haa that was #5 :)

    9. keetha said… March 4, 2013 8:59 pm

      SUCH a great post! I need reminding of this every now and then. Especially because my partner and I work from home in a tiny apartment. If I don’t take time to myself I never get time alone!

      I try and go swimming a couple of times a week for an hour or so. I love swimming laps because its repetitive and so so quiet. All I can hear is the sound of other people swimming and I don’t really have time to think about anything else but form and breath.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 11:04 pm

        Swimming sounds so nice right now!

    10. Akshara Vivekananthan said… March 4, 2013 6:26 pm

      What a lovely post! One of my favorite things to do is to simply pick up a book, snuggle under the covers, and read. As a college student, I rarely find the time to read anything but a textbook. When I do schedule time to read, it’s probably the most favorite time of my day. I love getting lost in a good book!

    11. Kelly @ Studio DIY said… March 4, 2013 3:41 pm

      Great post Liz! I agree about the cooking thing, I look forward to it all day, even if I’m beyond busy. It’s one of the few times I’m not staring at a screen or holding a camera! My goal for the next few months is to get back into dance classes. I grew up dancing and it’s one of those things for me, too, that got cut out when life got to busy! Time to change that!

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 11:05 pm

        I’d love to get back into dancing too. Another reader said she takes an adult ballet class, doesn’t that sound fun?

    12. Jana said… March 4, 2013 2:48 pm

      This is great, Liz. I’ve been feeling like I need to sit down and remember the things that I enjoy doing…seems funny that we can so easily lose sight of these things. This was just the push I needed. Thanks :)

    13. kathleen said… March 4, 2013 2:33 pm

      Ahhh, that red and blue polka dot dress! I still am in love with it!

      Cooking, reading and biking are at the top of my need-to-make-time-for list too. Three e-readers in our household and I haven’t read a single book in so long I can’t remember. I’ve actually found a compromise in audiobooks which I kinda love. My daughters listen to them at night. They’re how I used to fall asleep as a kid.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 3:49 pm

        I love audiobooks too! This is a reminder for me to go check some more out for all that driving around down time

    14. Melissa said… March 4, 2013 12:52 pm

      This is such a great post, and such an important thing to remember! I love to cook, I love to read (haven’t read a book in months!), love to walk, and I need to spend more time doing those things.

    15. Emily said… March 4, 2013 11:17 am

      I make sure I work out everyday to recharge my body, and I love to do something creative for my mind…even if its something simple like rearranging a vignette in my home. When I do something simple for myself it takes a day full of menial tasks into a meaningful one.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 2:17 pm

        Love that. Something creative is on my list too!

    16. Kristin said… March 4, 2013 10:29 am

      I have had the same thoughts since becoming a mother. I find it difficult to remember what I used to do – and some of my interested have changed. For my upcoming birthday, I have asked for a digital photography class (always a passion of mine) and photoshop workshop. I think it’s a good start!

      • Kristin said… March 4, 2013 11:02 am

        Also, your living room is my dream. Do you have a house tour, source list, etc. anywhere on your blog? I can’t seem to find one. Thanks!

    17. Lisette said… March 4, 2013 9:53 am

      Running. I love how you can do it anywhere, it helps me clear my head, it is low cost sport and does not require much in the way of time commitment or equipment.

    18. Giulia said… March 4, 2013 8:56 am

      Yes! Time for myself. I usually pick up a new hobby every couple of years. I did pottery for 2 years once a week with the babies at home – cleaning up my mess instead of theirs. Then I moved to swimming 3 times a week at 6 am outdoors during the summer. It’s really early, but it’s amazing to see the sun go up while cutting through the water. Now I want to take up ballet again or hot yoga.
      Also taking time to photograph my food for posts is wonderfully relaxing…it’s just bout the creative process.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 2:18 pm

        I’m so glad I’m not the only one picking up new hobbies!

    19. Carla said… March 4, 2013 7:45 am

      When you are a busy mom it can be so very hard to make time for yourself. I so relate to the feeling of having forgotten what you even like to do on your own. For me itis cooking, sewing, gardening, and dancing flamenco. Getting to flamenco class has proven most difficult because it is in the evening but this post has me thinking I’d better find a way. A happy mom is a good mom. Thanks so much for sharing.

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 8:03 am

        Dancing flamenco! So cool! Definitely make time for that :)

    20. Andrea said… March 4, 2013 6:48 am

      I love this post, it is so important to make time for the things you love!

    21. Lindsey said… March 4, 2013 6:13 am

      I feel the same way about cooking and baking! My other favorite hobby is knitting. I just started taking ballet classes for adults and I’m going to start running this spring. It’s so important to take time for yourself, and so easy to neglect!!

      • Liz Stanley said… March 4, 2013 8:02 am

        I’ve totally thought about taking an adult ballet class too! Or those barre classes even

        • whoorl said… March 4, 2013 2:58 pm

          I’m considering an adult ballet class myself!

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