Life is busy. Whether it’s juggling a job and family or just trying to fit in some sort of social life around everything else you have on – things can get hectic.

And at this time of year when many of us have set ourselves resolutions along with a whole host of other goals and ambitions to strive for, it can sometimes feel like any time we’re not doing something is time wasted.

But this 100 miles-per-hour lifestyle could actually be detrimental to achieving those targets we set ourselves. Research suggests doing too much and not taking time for yourself can lead to burnout and being less productive than you’d like.

Why should I take some time for myself?
A number of experts recommend slowing down and setting aside some quiet time on your own. It can help you switch off and even improve your social skills, as you’re less likely to be tired, strained or stretched.

Taking some time for yourself can also help you reset and focus on what you want. Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, believes time spent alone can improve your concentration, productivity, as well as sparking creativity. And studies have shown the ability to spend time in your own company is linked to increased happiness and improved stress management.

So what can I do?
The idea of putting some time aside purely for yourself can seem daunting and maybe even a bit selfish. But self-care really isn’t something to feel guilty about!

There are loads of things you can do to take some time for yourself, but what’s most important is that it’s something you feel happy doing in an environment you’re comfortable in. Some of our favourite activities to help switch off include:

  • reading
  • practicing mindfulness
  • going for a walk
  • yoga
  • self-care and pampering yourself

So next time you have a spare few minutes, why not use them to focus on you. It might just help you in more ways than you think.