Creating Blank Space During The Busy Work Week

I crave alone time a lot… it’s an introvert thing, I know. “Me time,” blank space, quiet time… whatever you want to call it. It’s what energises introverts and helps us recharge our social, mental and creative batteries. 

When I don’t get enough “me time”, I get a little moody…

Well, moody is an understatement… I actually get really quiet and distant and have this “resting sad face” apparently… It’s not pretty or pleasant, trust me. Want to know the worst part? I can’t even control it! It’s like ALL my energy and happy vibes get sucked out like some kind of vacuum. It’s a crappy feeling. (Especially when people think I’m being rude.)

So… blank space, “me time” is VERY high up on my priority list.

Just like self care.

Introverts get energised when they have alone time. It helps us to recharge our social, mental and creative batteries. Click To Tweet

Exactly What IS “Blank Space”?

I’ve written about blank space before, but that was when I had the luxury of working from home. It’s a little different now, so I thought I’d write about it from a full-day office work angle. Not sure what “blank space” means? Don’t worry – I didn’t either until last year. Basically it’s “nothing time.” It can be a few minutes or a few hours – or if you’re lucky, an entire day.

Nothing time means not having things planned, you know, like errands or chores or social commitments.

Time to just BE.
Time to dream, to sit quietly with tea and stare at the clouds, to lie on the bed and rest, to read or journal or mediate.

You get the picture… Time to do whatever gives you the soul food FEELS.

When Last Did You MAKE Time To Relax?

(Notice that I said MAKE time, not find time... because, we all know that “finding time” doesn’t exist…)

I mean really relaxing… Not sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-mindlessly kind of relaxing. I used to feel guilty about sitting and doing nothing, like I was wasting time. Or that there was something more important I should be doing. It’s so weird – we schedule time for exercise and date nights or coffee with friends, but time to chill out and do nothing? Not really, hey.

I see blank space as a way of investing in our mental well-being. Just like exercising is investing in our physical well-being. Just being… relaxing, it gives our minds and bodies a break from the go-go-go train we push so hard on every single day. The constant hustle, the always “one more thing.” It’s crazy how easy it is to get into that living to work situation…

When really, we should be working to LIVE and actually just ENJOY life.

Work to LIVE.

ENJOY life, not endure it.

Seek out JOY every day.

I’ve made it a mission these last two months to find some kind of system for “me time” and blank space.

I know it’s not perfect; it’s a work in progress. I’m seeing what works and switching things up as I go. For example, I don’t plan to exercise every day of the work week, because I never stick to it. By Friday afternoon I’m buggered from the week and I just want pizza and Netflix. Forget about a HIIT workout or a run around the block! Not happening…

So I thought I’d share a few things I’ve started doing over the last couple of weeks – maybe something jumps out at you to give a try! I think the most important thing about scheduling time for anything, is to just START and adjust as you go.

Be flexible and find what works for you.

We schedule exercise and date nights. We should be scheduling in down time and mental health breaks, too. Click To Tweet

How I’m Creating Blank Space In The Work Week

MORNING ROUTINE:
I wake up at 4.50am and have an entire HOUR to myself… yes, I know, it sounds mad, but it works. Depending on my mood, I’ll do some mix of stretching, meditating, praying, journalling, reading Pinterest quotes or catching up on social media.

I started doing a 7-minute workout with a free app I downloaded and that boosts my energy more than any cup of coffee, I swear.

MINI WORK BREAKS:
I sit in an open-plan office so I make sure I get away from my desk once or twice a day for a walk around the business park. We’re lucky to have some green open space, so whenever I feel overwhelmed or just need some alone time, that’s where I head. If it’s raining or the day is really insane with launches or deadlines, I’ll just go sit in the bathroom for an extra few minutes.

(Yep, I get that desperate for alone time!)

EVENINGS:
We get home just after 4pm, which makes the evenings nice and long. I’m trying to run twice a week and do at least two strength workouts (still trying to get this one down). A 20-40 minute workout helps me transition from work mode to relax mode. It’s a great way to get rid of any mental stress while burning a few calories.

Because, chocolate brownies lately… so bad. So, so bad.

NIGHT TIME:
I’m usually in bed by 9 or 9:30pm and I’d love to tell you that I’ve got this whole night time self care routine down, but I don’t. I’m way too lazy for that, so I just try and write down a little of my day or read. And often, that doesn’t even happen. That’s the thing with waking up early, by the time my head hits the pillow, I don’t even have time to overthink... it’s 1,2,3 helloooo dreamland. It’s awesome!

Another little recent switch? We stopped watching TV with supper during the week (except for Fridays). Do you know how much time that saves? It’s crazy.

Creating MORE Blank Space And Me Time During The Busy Work Week Click To Tweet

Weekends and Pajama Days

I know this isn’t during the work week, but I can’t tell you how much difference it makes having one pajama day a weekend. As in a day to just chill at home and be comfy – binge-watching Netflix series or blogging or not having to go anywhere or do anything. Two busy weekend days are not my idea of a good time. Nope, learned that lesson recently – by the time Monday came, I felt like I’d worked the whole weekend. If only we had 3-day weekends…

Blank space doesn’t need to be an entire day though, even just having a couple of hours a weekend to do what you want to do. The weeks are long, life is stressful, it shouldn’t be an afterthought or something to do “if” there’s time.

MAKE the time. Schedule it in. Prioritise your health. Invest in YOU.

(Remember that saying about an empty teacup? Yup. That one…)

How Do YOU Relax?

I’d love to hear what kinds of things you do during the week to relax – tell me about them in the comments! Also, do you do pajama days on the weekend, too or is that just me?

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2 Comments

  1. Can we have 5-day weekends and 2-day workweeks? HAHA. Ah, yes. I have so missed reading your tips and tricks and the weaving of words that is so YOU. I can just see you in PJs and enjoying the weekends because this is PRECISELY what I like to do. I have intentionally scheduled workdays as Tues-Thurs so that I have four days at home. I recover, get stuff done, work on my blog (a lot) and I can “deal” with the world again the next Tuesday. Hehe. Here’s to introverts everywhere. Who understand. In the privacy of our own homes. Unite we might! lol

  2. Melanie Chisnall says:

    Haha, I LOVE that! Yup – introverts unite, everywhere… separately, in your own homes. 😉 Your work-week is a dream my friend – what a blessing after all the years of crazy hours and non-stop ‘everything’ you’ve had to do. You deserve it, enjoy every minute! Thank you for popping in to comment my friend, you are a GEM. xxx

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