Say it loud and say it proud: me, me, me! Okay, maybe you don’t want to shout it, but it’s that important.
Scheduling time for yourself is essential to stick to your healthy habits. Take charge of your health and happiness, and you will reduce your stress, become more productive, and have more energy.
You may think that “it’s all about me” is selfish. But think about it: other people benefit from your “me time” too. Do things that nourish you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and you will gain more patience and a more positive attitude toward your relationships. You’ll become a better parent, partner, and a more effective team player at work.
Literally take a page from your agenda. Check your calendar every week and reserve some time for yourself.
Can’t find an hour to spend on yourself? Even 5-15 minutes can work, if you stick to it.
Don’t use the time to fold laundry or catch up on email. It may seem even more stressful at first to leave things undone, but you’ll have more energy if you take some time off.
Where do you find the time?
- Take advantage of the kids’ reading or nap time.
- Get up 10 minutes earlier.
- Ask your children (and partner) to do the dishes.
- Turn off the smartphone.
- Claim a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon for yourself, even if that means adjusting your family’s schedule.
Give me 5
If 5 minutes is all you have, you’d be surprised how much you can make it count.
- Just breathe. Really focus on breathing deeply. Your thoughts may wander – that’s not a problem, just gently redirect them from thinking about everything on your to-do list.
- Stretch. Get up from your desk and energize your muscles.
- Do nothing. Sit still. Resist the urge to jump up and clear the table or pick up the kids’ toys. Rest your mind and body.
Just a few more minutes
At least once a month, set aside some more time for yourself, for example 30 minutes to an hour. Get a pedicure. Or a facial treatment. Go somewhere you’ve never been before (a particular museum or hiking trail, perhaps). Write down your dreams and goals in a journal.
Say no, gracefully
You don’t have to tell your friends and family what you’re doing. But if their demands take up your time, it’s okay to create a buffer.
Tell them you can help, but you need a quick 20 minutes (or however long you feel good) before you can do it.
Stick to it
Unless it’s crucial, don’t cancel me time. It’s tempting and easy to opt out this time. But if you do it too often, you will run out of me-time!
Stand up for yourself and you will find that it is also worth it for the people around you. You will be happier and better able to help them.