How many times have you said to yourself:
- “I wish I had more time to myself!”
- “I need more hours in the day!”
- “I don’t have time for that!”
- “I’m so busy!”
I get it! Our lives are so busy, and we never seem to take time for ourselves, and if we do, we feel guilty or selfish for doing so.
But – STOP!
Making time for YOU needs to be a priority in your life!
I know, I can hear you say “but there is just no time”! Then, let’s look at some ways you can create time as well as the “why” you need to make this time for yourself.
Let’s Start With Why You Need to Make Time For You
I have discovered that often you need a strong enough “why” to motivate yourself to make a change in your life. Consider this:
- spending time with yourself feels good, and when you feel good it makes you a happier person to be around.
- spending time with your self benefits everyone around you because when you have a happier healthier mindset you are in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who are important to you.
- spending time with yourself is “preventative medicine” to combat burnout. What good will you be to anyone if you eventually burn out? (And you will if you don’t take care of yourself).
How You Can Make You Your Priority:
First, you need to decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day. Stop feeling guilty for taking time out for you! Realize that in the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best to all you must accomplish. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it’s a necessary dimension of self-care!
Decide how best to spend “me” time. How we choose to spend our free time is as individualized as we all are. If you had an extra 15 minutes, a half hour, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list of things that appeal to you and keep it handy for when you begin scheduling time into your calendar for yourself.
If You Only Have 5-10 Minutes
- Sit on your deck or porch with a cup of tea and a book – or even a cup of tea and no book. Just watch the clouds go by. No phone or tablet or calendar allowed.
- Call a friend just to chat – just talk, without an agenda.
- Move. Get up from your desk, stretch, and walk around the block or up and down a flight of stairs.
- Breathe deeply. While you’re sitting in your office, car, or home, focus on breathing slowly and gently for 5 minutes. It’s OK if your mind wanders a bit, but don’t start planning what you have to do next — just follow your breath.
- Pet your pet. Focus for 5 minutes on cuddling with cat or dog. You’ll both feel better.
- Put on your iPod and hit shuffle. Then just sit and listen.
If You Only Have 15-30 Minutes
- Read one chapter of a book you’ve wanted to make time for. Have an area in your home or office where you can keep a good book, a magazine, a crossword puzzle, or other short escapes.
- Find a nearby park and go for a brisk walk.
- Putter. This doesn’t mean cleaning the house or organizing your kids’ clothes. Instead, it means doing little things at home that you enjoy, like trimming the rosebush and putting together a bouquet for your office or kitchen.
- Soak in the tub. If you’re a parent, make sure another adult is on duty so no one’s going to yell “Mom!” Plan so you’ll have some fabulous bath goodies on hand. Don’t forget a glass of ice water or wine.
Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check your emails constantly and end up spending more time on your computer than you planned? Do you answer personal calls in the middle of your workday? Run to the supermarket daily to pick up dinner rather than plan in advance and shop once? If this sounds like you, you must take the time to organize your responsibilities, and you will gain more free time than you can imagine.
Learn to say “no” to requests to do things that you don’t really want to, don’t value or don’t bring you satisfaction and joy.
Ask for help with chores that don’t necessarily have to be completed by you alone.
At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including “me” time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it non-negotiable.
Commit to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of “me” time every day. Do something (or nothing) that completely lets go of responsibilities and releases your mind, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.
Create a daily ritual. This can be a bath, listening to music, taking a walk or meditating. Make it something you can look forward to. Years ago, when my children were small and life felt too hectic and overwhelming, I created a ritual for “me” time. I decided it was well worth it to get up 45 minutes before the rest of the family to enjoy my coffee and breakfast in solitude. To this day it’s my time to read, daydream or just bask in the sounds of silence. Looking forward to this time, and a coffee pot on a timer, gets me out of bed with a smile on my face.
Benefits of Building “Me Time” Into Your Life
Are you still not convinced? Then consider these benefits:
- “Me Time” allows you to reboot your brain and unwind. Constantly being “on” doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.
- “Me Time” helps to improve concentration and increase productivity. When you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.
- “Me Time” gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice. When you’re a part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.
- “Me Time” provides time for you to think deeply. Day to day responsibilities and commitments can make your to-do list seem as if it has no end. This constant motion prevents you from engaging in deep thought, which inhibits creativity and lessens productivity.
- “Me Time” helps you work through problems more effectively. It’s hard to think of effective solutions to problems when you’re distracted by incoming information, regardless of whether that information is electronic or human.
- “Me Time” can enhance the quality of your relationships with others. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.
We all instinctively know that when we take time for ourselves to pursue our passions, do the things that we enjoy, relax or even do nothing at all; we end up happier, healthier and feeling better. “Me” time allows us to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. Taking time for yourself allows you to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace that we need in our day to day lives.
“Me” time is not something you should feel guilty about. It’s nothing more than taking some time to put aside your everyday business and treating yourself to an activity that you enjoy. It gives you an opportunity to relax, refocus and recharge. And when you do that, you can come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment
If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being. Lack of time for ourselves, often leads to feeling s of frustration, tiredness, overwhelmed and out of balance. Without this time for ourselves, we lose sight of what’s important to us.
Stop wishing you had more time to yourself, and commit to carving it into your schedule. Rather than bemoan your lack of time, change your approach and create the time using the tips above. You will be amazed at how a little bit of time to yourself can make a huge difference in your health and happiness!
“Me” time is not something you should feel guilty about
Do you take time for yourself each day? What do you do? How as it changed how you manage your day to day activities? Please leave a comment in the boxes below and share your insights with us.
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Credit to Sources: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1657, http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/womans-guide-to-me-time, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201202/why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-stealing-little-time-yourself