Posted by: universitymindlab | July 15, 2008

Make Time for yourself a Priority

Make Time for yourself a Priority

Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.

Many of you have very busy and sometimes hectic lifestyles. Work, taking care of a household, volunteering, taking care of a parent, going to school or a myriad of other time eating activities occupy many of your waking hours. Sometimes you may be so busy that taking care of yourself seems like an impossibility.

Whether it’s to exercise, time to prepare a healthy meal, meditation, a relaxing bath or just an opportunity to decombust it is essential that you set aside time every day to do so. We all know that an accumulation of self-neglect leads to unhealthy and unwanted complications in our bodies or environment. Therefore, at certain times we have to be selfish.

To give you an example, I enjoy working out, preferably early in the morning. Well my wife and I also like to spend time working out together playing tennis, basketball, badminton, walking, etc., but she likes to do it later in the day. However, often that ‘later in the day’ can end up not happening because of other factors (e.g., too hot, tired after work, unexpected guests). Of course this leads to missing workouts which I consider vital to health and my own personal goals.

After this started to happen too much, I made a choice. I chose to exercise first. My workouts are important to me and the morning is the best time for me, so I don’t delay it for anyone. If I feel like exercising again later then I will. If something occurs where I can’t, then I won’t, but since I exercise in the morning, I don’t feel a loss.

You have to be the same way for things that matter to you. Someone will always have an issue that they want you to pay attention to, there will always be tasks to complete and something competing for your time. But you have to put yourself first for issues of importance to you.

Attending to your needs ensures that your lifestyle remains balanced, helps govern your mental state and keeps you feeling that you are in control of your life.

Take care of yourself and pay attention to your needs.

If these posts inspire you, leave a comment. I would be happy to hear from you!



  1. Dear Doc,

    Your article was very timely. I need to make time for myself. You are right our lives are so busy we don’t take out time for “me”. We are always concerned about someone else. If we don’t take out time for ourselves we can never find our enter peace which helps us to de-stress. Thanks for the reminders of why we need to take out time for ourselves.

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