Walk with a friend in the morning, followed by meeting a friend for lunch, pop home to grab a few things then off to meet my boyfriend for dinner. My pre-lockdown life was pretty jam packed although it feels like a long time ago now, it’s sometimes hard to remember. I thought it was great always rushing around, seeing lots of people, doing lots of things. Then coronavirus hit and it all stopped. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time inside my house.
I suddenly had all this time on my hands and it was all mine. No squeezing people, events and activities into every minute. Just free-flowing me-time.
I’ve rediscovered my creative side, painting in the garden and I started to sew a dress (started being the key word). I’ve been cooking – some successful dishes (monkfish with white wine, olives and chilli) and some not so successful (homemade squid ink spaghetti a bit on the clumpy side). I’ve loved having more time on my own, just doing things I want to do.
What all of this has got me thinking about it, is my boundaries. Specifically my boundaries around my own time, which I hadn’t given much thought to before this. I enjoyed always being on the go but lockdown gave me a new perspective on that.
Since then I have tried really hard to not book too much in the diary and preserve some time for myself each week. I don’t like to live by specific rules but generally I now try to not arrange more than two weekday evenings out each week and I like to keep one full weekend day for myself.
It’s hard to tell the impact this has had in my life, as the last six months has been full of change but I definitely feel less go-go-go, which used to leave me shattered after a while. I’m also just really enjoying this time and it feels like I’ve found the right balance at the moment.
If you want to reassess how you’re spending your time, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I spend my time doing each week?
- How do I want to spend my time?
- If there was no-one else to consider what would I be doing?
- How much of my time do I spend doing things I enjoy?
- How much of my time do I spend doing things other people enjoy but I don’t?
- Are there things I want to do but I don’t feel I have the time?
Reflect on your answers and consider if you could benefit from creating some boundaries around your time. What could they look like? What is the right balance for you?