Why is Making Time for Ourselves So Difficult?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I consider myself to be a generally busy person.  I balance family and a (part-time) career, and feel like I'm always on the go.  For the most part, I like it that way.  I like staying busy, and having good organizational skills makes it easier for me to get a lot done every day.  But the one thing I've never been very good at, especially since having kids, is making time for myself.  Exercise is a priority in my life, so I try to make room for that daily.  I feel guilty if it takes time away from my kids, so usually I'll sacrifice sleep in the mornings so that I can squeeze in a quick workout.  My diet is generally healthy, but I'm always more willing to spend time making a healthy lunch for my kids than I am to spend time making something for myself.

It's hard to make time for myself without feeling guilt.  Why is that?  Why do I have such trouble developing the mindset that my health, or even just my stress level, benefit from "me" time and deserve a priority in my life?  Although it's something I struggle with, I know I'm not alone.  Every day I read posts on the SparkPeople Message Boards from members who talk about the difficulties of finding time to exercise, prepare healthy meals, or just spend a little quiet time on their own.  When some of them talk about how busy they are, I feel like I have no excuse.  One recent poster talked about her two-hour commute to and from her full-time job each day, and how hard it was to balance time with her family and time for herself at the end of a long day.  Wow- my situation sounds easy compared to that one.

I've always been slightly jealous of those people who are able to balance all of the demands of life and still find time for themselves.  I have a friend who regularly posts about her life on Facebook.  She has a full-time job, a little one at home, and yet she still finds time to exercise (she's lost 60 pounds in the past year), do things with her girlfriends, and even posted about getting a pedicure on her lunch hour yesterday.  I would never even think of doing that because I'm so focused on doing things for everyone else all the time.  My husband encourages me to spend time on myself, but usually, I resist.

If you struggle like I do, check out 8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List and Fitting Healthy Habits Into Your Hectic Life.

Can you relate?  Do you struggle with carving out time each day for yourself?  If not, how have you been able to do it?