When was the last time you did something just for you? It’s integral to your mental health to spend some time doing stuff that gives you a sense of happiness and satisfaction. If you can’t remember the last time you did so, it’s time to take yourself seriously and be more disciplined about having regular me-time.
Women are especially prone to leaving themselves on the bottom shelf of their priority pantry. Kids, partners, careers, friends, extended family — everyone wants a piece of you and at the end of the day or week, there just never seems to be time to do anything for yourself. If you consider me-time having a shower without your kids or partner barging in, here are some tips to help boost your time for yourself:
Get your head into it. Too many women don’t recognize the importance of me-time. Restoring your spirit and energy is essential, the same as food, water and sleep. You can’t keep giving to everyone else around you if you have nothing to give! The only way to fill up your own reserve of energy, love, patience and giving is to truly believe that you deserve those things for yourself as well. At the bare minimum, acknowledge that you’ll be a better mom, employee, boss, wife, partner, daughter, sister, aunt and friend if you spend some time nurturing yourself.
Schedule it in. Put “me-time” in your calendar and your partner’s calendar. If you have kids, ensure your partner understands that this time is for you only, so childcare won’t be on your agenda. An hour each week or a half-day every two weeks is a reasonable minimum. If your partner isn’t available for child-care, arrange babysitting or swap a play-date time with another mom who needs some me-time too.
Me-Time Takes some planning
Plan your time. Once you’ve scheduled it, decide what you’re going to do. The list is endless, so try to pick something you enjoy and find relaxing. Reading, watching a movie, taking a bubble bath, going for a walk or run, doing art or journaling, baking, even having an uninterrupted nap — we could fill this page with suggestions, but you know yourself best. Just don’t wait until your me-time is upon you with no plans for that break. A lack of firm plans often slides into doing things like work, housework or tasks that don’t quite fit the bill as “me-time.”
Leave the house or kick everyone out.
Yes, it sounds harsh, but it’s the only way to really focus on you and your needs. Spend time with friends or extended family if you really enjoy it, but nothing beats time alone to enjoy the silence, or your favourite music blasting while you dance like nobody is watching, because they aren’t. There are plenty of places for kids to go if you want to be in your own nest. The park, a movie, a bike ride, or an indoor play place are all great spots for someone to take your kids so that you can have space and silence.
No, that doesn’t mean use me-time to exercise. It means don’t let your dedication to me-time slide. Once you have that time on a regular basis, you’ll realize how important it is, but sometimes initially it’s easy to keep putting other tasks and people ahead of yourself. Be strict and stay disciplined about your me-time and eventually it will be a good habit you just aren’t willing to break.