With all the things on your daily to-do list, it’s easy to get lost in the whirl of activity and forget one essential activity: taking time for yourself. It isn’t selfish, but it is definitely important. While you might think you have everything under control, here are seven signs you need some me time.

  1. Everything gets under your skin The sound of the kids playing loudly in the other room, the wind messing up your hair, the grease-clogged sink you have to clean, that red sock that found its way into the laundry and colored the sheets pink, the last-minute assignment your boss handed you just as you were ready to leave for the day — when you get overly upset by everything, this is a clear sign you need some time for yourself.
  2. You speak before you think When the words tumble out of your mouth, it’s too late to take them back. If things are getting to be too much, you’re very likely to lash out with uncharacteristically harsh words or communicate in an abrupt or angry manner. If you find yourself saying you’re sorry for your temper, it should be a warning that you haven’t carved out enough time for you to relax and rejuvenate.
  3. You worry too much Granted, there are plenty of things in life that are a legitimate cause for worry, but when you begin to worry about every little thing, that’s not normal. If worry continues for six months (along with some other symptoms), it could be generalized anxiety disorder. If it’s intermittent but seems more pervasive, you’re not dealing effectively with what’s underneath it all. It could very well be that you’re simply overwhelmed with everything you have to do. It’s a sign that you need to put some me time on the calendar in black marker, and then be sure you take that much-needed time for yourself.
  4. You’re always tired When you get plenty of sleep, yet you still feel tired, there’s more at work here than you know. You’re allowing all your to-do’s to mount and you can’t see how you can ever get them all accomplished. This results in a feeling of exhaustion. No wonder you feel down. The simple remedy may be a long, soaking bath, reading a good book, going for coffee or a meal with a friend, taking a walk in the woods, or enjoying a movie you’ve been wanting to see.
  5. You’re not having fun anymore Maybe you’ve been going at such a frantic pace that you aren’t having any fun. If you sense that things aren’t as enjoyable as they once were, it may be time to slow down. Once you’re not trying so hard to beat the clock, to cram in one more finished task or chore, you’ll find life begins to be a bit more enjoyable. Take the time to make time for yourself.
  6. Everything is in rush mode If the hours seem to fly by and you’re constantly trying to get this project done or complete that assignment and find yourself with knots in your stomach and a sense of dread, you’re trying to do everything in rush mode. Where’s your sense of pacing? No one can keep going at top speed and produce quality work.No matter if it’s making dinner or turning in a critical project at work or school, if you can’t learn effective pacing, you’re going to wind up with results less than you expected, or worse. If, however, you carve out a little time for yourself between tasks, you’re going to be that much more effective when you do get back to work.
  7. You’re constantly stressed Too many conflicting demands on your time, escalating problems that you can’t readily solve, high expectations of others that you try so hard to meet — all these may result in increasing amounts of stress. Like a clock that’s wound too tight, if you don’t do something to release some of this tension, nothing good can result. It’s absolutely time to stop what you’re doing and rearrange your schedule so you can do something that’s just for you.

    Flowers and tea photo available from Shutterstock