Taking care of ourselves is a very important part of our life. I think I can speak for many when I say, “Oh! What I wouldn’t give to have an extra hour of sleep or an extra hour or two for some ‘me’ time.” I know making time for yourself sometimes seems impossible when you have endless amounts of “to-do’s” for your family, work or your children’s school obligations and after school sports. I know this because I live that life every day and I am sure most mothers and women out there do, too. My schedule is booked from sun up to sun down and I have little to no time to care for myself. I have noticed that when I’m overwhelmed with it all, I start neglecting myself and I start to break down emotionally, mentally and physically. It can become extremely exhausting!
Recently, I have had to take a little break – more like a breather for a quick second to reset my mind, and during that time I realized that if I do not slow down my schedule and all that I take on I am not doing anyone any good, especially myself. When you treat yourself well, it will trickle down to everything else in your life; your kids, your husband, your partner, your co-workers etc. It doesn’t really matter what you do to de-stress and decompress. It could be something as simple as reading a book, writing, taking a walk/jog, getting your hair or nails done, whatever you decide to do, make it happen! Take some time for yourself. Here are a few things that I try to do that have helped me to have the “me” time that I need.
- Schedule it – Think about it! We schedule everything already. We schedule doctor/dentist appointments, kids extracurricular activities, practice/games, teacher meetings etc. so why not schedule your “me time”, too? Penciling it in will be your reminder to take the alone time that you need. It will hold you accountable. Accountability is everything!
- Make it count – I know it is tempting to try to get some errands for the household or work done when you have the extra time to yourself, but don’t! Enjoy a warm cup of coffee in silence, catch up on some sleep, whatever it might be; take a few minutes to pamper yourself. You only have a small window of time to yourself so take advantage of it.
- Find tasks others can help with – I recently created a chore chart for everyone in my household. It has helped lighten the load for me and has made a difference! The extra help has allowed me to take a few minutes for myself each day, while my children complete their tasks.
- Take 5 – even if it just five minutes that you can muster together, take it! Use that time to meditate, sit quietly to collect your thoughts, or simply go outside your home or office for some fresh air and sunshine. It will help reset your mind and get you recharged.
- Wake up earlier – I have heard this a thousand times and yet this is the hardest thing for me to do. I struggle with it today, but it really helps! When I do muster up the strength to get up earlier than I need to, I take the extra time to make a cup of coffee, enjoy the silence and calm before the storm, and simply relax my mind to help mentally prepare myself for the day. I try to wake up about 20 minutes earlier than I normally would, and it really helps set the tone for the rest of my day.
- Take advantage of your shower time – This is probably the only time where most women will get the most “me” time, naturally so. Take full advantage of your shower or bath time. Pretend you’re in a spa! Go out and buy some aromatherapy, grab some candles and a bottle of wine-relax, and let the warm water wash away any stress or tension you were feeling.
- Nicely say no – This is another things I tend to struggle with. It is great to help and give our time to others, but sometimes we say “yes” and commit to so many things and it can cut into your “me” time. I am totally guilty of overcommitting and saying yes to too many things! Remember to create a cushion; say you will be happy to help (if you are able), but be sure to give them a certain time and limit yourself. Do not force the time and stress yourself out and push your “me” time out.
- Remember – keep in mind that taking some time away for yourself is nothing to feel guilty about. You are not taking anything away from your family or work. It is crucial because it is a vital part of keeping yourself happy and healthy. Remember keeping yourself happy trickles down to everything in your life such as your kids, husband, partner or co-workers.
Before you start making “me” time a priority, take a step back and ask yourself what your ideal “me’ time is. Start writing some things down and penciling them into your planner. Remember accountability is everything! Take advantage of any alone time you have and make it happen! You deserve to take some time off for your usual daily responsibilities to unwind.