There are givers and there are takers in this world. It might sound obvious, but some people give you their time, while others take it.
You can be friends with a taker, just as you can be friends with a giver. The difference lies in how you manage your time and what you prioritize. And speaking from experience, that requires standing up for yourself, and recognizing your value.
Because while giving someone your time and attention is a beautiful thing, it also requires specific boundaries. Otherwise the giver ends up over-giving; while the taker ends up over-taking (sometimes unintentionally). And these are the ingredients for a perfect storm. One which usually ends poorly for both parties involved if left ignored.
So what does reclaiming your time look like? It's not rocket science. You still go about your life as you have been. But you're also mindful of what you can and can't handle. You listen to yourself. And once you feel the need for a break, you prioritize your needs.
It can feel selfish, but there's no reason to feel guilty about getting done the things that you need to get done. Because helping others starts with helping yourself. You can't give from an empty pail. By prioritizing the things you need to accomplish, you'll be able to better help others. If however you devote all your time to someone else and avoid getting done the things you need to get done for you, then you can become frustrated and bitter. Sometimes you even shut yourself out to everyone because you can't handle it anymore.
But when you wall others out completely, you wall yourself in. Which is not healthy, and also quite lonely. This is why boundaries are essential for healthy relationships. And that starts with respecting yourself and your time. Cause the reality is, we only get 24 hours in a day.
Ways to reclaim your time:
Establish clear boundaries
Recognize your worth
Be intentional with your time
It's like Justin Timberlake says, take back the night!
I am not a licensed psychologist, these are just some things I've learned the hard way.
When you reclaim your time, a whole new world appears. Instead of feeling like time is slipping away, you get this breathe of fresh air. It's awkward at first, but it gets easier over time. And speaking from personal experience, your stress levels go down.