22 Jun More Time For Me
We all need ‘me time’ no matter how busy we are. In fact the busier we are, the more conscious we need to be about the space we are creating for ourselves. We lead full-on, busy lives and the one thing we never seem to have is time for ourselves. Finding as little as 10-20 minutes a day of uninterrupted ‘me time’ can seem like an impossible task right?
Our lives are so over scheduled that sometimes life can feel like one long to-do list. Let’s face it once you’ve raced off to work, dropped kids to childcare or sport or music and then made a meal and everything else that goes along with running a house, there doesn’t seem to be much time left over for anything else – least of all you! Lack of time for ourselves often leads to us feeling tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and off balance.
When we take time for ourselves to do the things that we enjoy, we end up happier, healthier and feeling much better. ‘Me time’ allows us to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. Taking time for ourselves allows us to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace. So it’s about time we get okay with taking some time out. We need to be a bit kinder to ourselves for the sake of our sanity.
Whilst wearing the many hats of mother, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, coach, colleague and friend, I have learnt that I need to really value my own needs. This for me may take the form of meditation, a run or a relaxing bath. By practising this self-care as a ritual in my day it ensures that I have what is required to give my best to the people in my life.
What is ‘me time’?
So what is ‘me time’? Well it’s NOT doing chores or clearing emails! It means different things to different people. It could be reading a book, having a cup of tea in the sunshine, a dinner out with friends, trying a new recipe, a yoga class, a walk, a massage or even some quiet, still breathing – anything that makes you feel good and that you enjoy.
If you are used to putting others first it’s hard to prioritise yourself, and not feel guilty about it. Consider an aeroplane when we are told to put on our oxygen masks first before attending to others. The idea clashes with our instinct right? What does it really mean? Simply put: If you don’t put your mask on first, you won’t be there for all those other people when they need you. You will be unconscious.
The same applies to us. Our natural tendency is to do for others, because we are caring, loving, nurturing, responsible, supportive and competent people. However, just like the oxygen mask, we need to take care of ourselves so we can effectively take care of the people we love.
It’s good for you.
Taking some ‘me time’ is vital in protecting our physical, mental and emotional health. Taking a little time refreshes and reenergizes us. It allows us to think more clearly and make better decisions. Other benefits can include sleeping better and reduced irritability, anxiety, fatigue, stress and sickness. And when we do this, we come back to our responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.
How to make ‘me-time’ actually happen.
It can be quite a challenge to find time for ourselves. Unless you plan it – ‘me time’ can easily fall off the to-do list.
- Commitment to self.
Getting over that ‘me time’ is selfish and that in fact it’s a necessary dimension of self-care is the first step. When we are tired, stressed and pulled in too many directions, it is impossible to give our best to all that we must accomplish.
- Discover what is wasting time.
Do you check your emails constantly? Answer personal calls in the middle of a work-day? Spend time mindlessly scrolling through social media? If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to prioritise your responsibilities and gain more time that way.
- Learn to say “no”.
Practise makes perfect but it is okay to say no to things that you don’t really want to do, need to do and don’t value.
- Plan for it.
Unless you plan for it, in our very busy, over committed lives it is likely to fall of the ‘to do’ list. We have to be pro-active about fitting it in. Schedule it like you would an appointment or a meeting.
- Commit to a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes a day.
Do something (or nothing) that you enjoy and that allows you to let go of responsibility.
- Create a daily ritual.
This might be a bath, going for an evening walk or getting up early to meditate or have a quiet cup of tea alone. Build it into your day and make it something you look forward to.
No matter what ‘me time’ means for you, it shouldn’t be at the bottom of your to-do list. Creating room for down time is something we should be doing to stay healthy and happy. Exercise, nutritious food and plenty of sleep are vital for good health, but ‘me-time’ is another essential.
So what can you do today to improve your self-care?
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more about how I can help you find more ‘me-time’. I work with clients just like you to improve their wellness with simple strategies and routines to regain clarity and control, find balance in their day and develop healthy habits towards experiencing a more fulfilling life.