Danica Patrick: Penciling in health

May 09, 2016 | by Danica Patrick

We celebrated Mom this past weekend. She is one of the busiest people on this planet.

Women get it done, don’t we? We work hard, take care of our families and pets, make sure the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.

What we aren’t always good at is carving out me-time. We spend most of the day focused outward, checking off to-do lists, without taking even a few minutes for a coffee break. No slacking off!

But taking time to recharge isn’t slacking off. It isn’t selfish. It keeps your well-oiled machine in top condition.

Me-time is exactly what we need to avoid going off the deep end. It keeps us balanced and healthy instead of tired and stressed out.

By me-time, I mean down time. Working out, manicures, reading a good book with a hot cup of coffee (or coloring, as you can see from my Instagram photo on this blog!). All that stuff.

My schedule can get a little crazy. It would totally run my life if I let it.

The trick is making yourself a priority – and showing that through your schedule. Keep these tips in mind:

  • You just have to do it. Make a list at the beginning of the day. Lists are great. When I don’t have a list, I feel like I’m forgetting something. Put “down time” on the to-do list. I love the idea of the Conscious Calendar in this Psychology Today article.
  • Don’t be ashamed to ask for help getting stuff done. It doesn’t make you less of a superhuman to ask someone else to pick up the slack.
  • If your schedule is absolutely packed, try building in time before bed or early in the morning. If you need 45 minutes to work out in the morning in your living room or basement, think about timing your day differently.

WebMD offers some great suggestions for mental health breaks, broken down by how much time you have to spare.

In order for this whole me-time thing to work, you’ve got to be able to say no. Protect your pre-scheduled personal time! If a request or chore or event comes up that would chip away at that block of time, say no.

You are an exceptional multi-tasker, and you will be even better at it if you give yourself this time. It’s all part of taking care of yourself as well as you take care of others.

So how do you do it? I’d love to hear your strategies for carving out personal time (and how it’s helped you live healthier) – share with us in the comments!

Find a new healthy leisure activity here: Take the Healthy Driven Challenge!

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