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Two Weeks....Ten Minutes?

Sailboats in water near Sanctuary Christian Counseling in Shippensburg PA

Stress in life is unavoidable but understanding your triggers and managing your self-care can make a significant difference in how you deal with stress. A strategy that I have found that works well is to be intentional about my “me time”and treat that time sacredly. I schedule time for myself by actually writing it on my calendar at least two weeks in advance. We all know that as work and social events get added to our calendar, the first thing to go is our “me time”. Our fast paced culture has ingrained in us that time for ourselves means we aren’t as productive or we do not work as hard. I have found the opposite is true. When I am rested and my joy bucket is full, I am much more productive and happy. I give more of myself not less. Scheduling time for myself in advance reminds me daily of the importance of “me time”. Of course there are occasions when something comes up, but since it is already written in my calendar, I purposefully will find another time to reschedule this time for myself so that the time isn’t lost or forgotten.

Another strategy that works well is to not underestimate the importance of ten minutes. It is easy to say, “I only have ten minutes, what difference will that make?” The reality is that ten minutes is huge. We knew this as children. Remember what a difference a ten minute recess made? As adults, we too need frequent breaks throughout the day to rest our minds and de-stress. Ten minutes allows enough time for the brain to calm itself and reset. Ten minutes provides enough time for a short walk, prayer and meditation, time to listen to music, to read a few pages of your favorite book, to do some deep breathing exercises (one of my favorites), or many other calming activities you can add to your day. Don’t underestimate the power of ten minutes. Once I got into this habit, I found there were more opportunities for a ten minute break throughout my day than I realized. Often I have time for three or four a day. That is 30-40 minutes daily! This has many positive benefits to our moods and how we interact with others.

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