top of page

Want it straight to your inbox?

Thanks for subscribing!

How To 'Make' Time: Checking Your Body Budget

This week, 'Therapy Begins with T(ea)' steeps on how to make time when we don't have enough of it & offers a full body check-in to practice using a body budget.

how to make time

Therapy Begins with T(ea) is a weekly newsletter based on the themes that come up in my sessions as a therapist who specializes in conflict & attachment in romantic relationships, shame & imposter syndrome, and our psychological relationships with money. Each week consists of a 'steep' in thought reflection, an accompanying body based check-in, and tea card intentions for the week to come. Its intended use is for educational purposes only and is not a replacement for individualized medical or mental health treatment.

'Steep' in Thought (3-5 min)

When We're Kids, We have time. When we're adults, we have to make it.

“I just don’t have time for it.”

There are many things that differentiate child us from adult us, but one of big ones is managing time. As children, we have time (remember: one of the benefits of connecting with our inner child is the ability to slow down our experience of time to be more present); and as adults, we make time. As we grow up, our choices, roles, and responsibilities grow along with us, but the hours in a day stay pretty fixed, so we resort to prioritizing. This, of course, is not a new or groundbreaking concept, but I bring it up today because while we don’t have too much say in how much time we have, we do have more agency in the way we make time by prioritizing (get ready for therapists’ favorite word...) intentionally. And to do that, we have to first check in with our body budget.

What's your body budget?

A visual is helpful here (and today’s full body check-in will go into this further) -- but this generally looks like some version of filling a bunch of buckets (our roles) with varying amounts of water from one large pitcher (our time and energy). Now, prioritization focuses on how much is being poured out and where, but that only get us so far if we forget about the starting source. Prioritizing intentionally reminds us to first consider our budget -- what we have to give (which could change day to day) and what we need to replenish ourselves. It means checking in with our body and our inner resources to know what we’re working with in order to figure out what, where, and how much we’re ‘pouring’ into. A budget body includes input and output, which can also help in reframing the experiences that we ‘just don’t have time for’ as part of prioritizing (i.e. our input), not just as a distraction from it.

Take a moment here. What is it like for you to juggle all the tasks and roles you have in your day? Do you feel more drained or replenished? Are you more often in time ‘debt’ or are you making good investments? And most importantly, when prioritizing your time and energy, are you staying ‘in budget’? A lot financial metaphors today, I know, but time is money, after all.

Use today’s full body check-in to practice prioritizing more intentionally using a body budget.

Full Body Check-In (2-4 min)

Connect to your breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth as a sigh. Let it be all you focus on for a moment. Use your breath to connect your mind with the rest of your body.

Take inventory. If you’re at the beginning of your day, check in on what you’re starting with -- how is your energy, your readiness for the day? If you’re at the middle or the end of your day, check in on where you’re at now -- where are your energy levels? How drained, replenished, or in balance do you feel at this point?

Now that you know where you are and what you’re working with, adjust your budget accordingly. As you think about the day’s tasks, which align with what you have to give and which are incongruent? Put another way, which are in, and out of, budget for you today?

As you take a breath in, let’s visualize it. Maybe the ‘buckets’ metaphor resonates with you. Maybe, instead, you see coffee cups of varying sizes (espresso, latte size, an extra large coffee mug). Or maybe, for this exercise, you lean into the concept of budget and see a bank account.

What are the different buckets (or cups or bank transactions)? Do they match the different roles you play? Do they have different amounts needed in order to be filled? Do they have different costs?

Prioritizing is a balancing act. What you start with when you check in with your body is your current budget. Our roles and tasks are expenses, so we have to be mindful of not draining our ‘bank account’. We can also choose to prioritize what replenishes us (and our budget) throughout the day, balancing our withdrawals with deposits. If you’ve been feeling drained and overwhelmed, try out a body budget this week.

Want this straight to your inbox? Sign up for the newsletter to receive weekly steeps, body check-ins, and tea card intentions for the week to come.


bottom of page