Many people feel a little bit guilty about making time just for themselves. Some may feel they aren’t being productive, while others are just so used to taking care of everyone else that it’s foreign to them to do something regularly just for themselves. But taking care of yourself is vitally important to your mental and physical health. And in the end, it will benefit all those around you. By carving out time each day to do something for YOU, you will be healthier and happier, in turn making you a better partner, parent and friend.
“If we give, give, give and neglect our own physical or spiritual needs, we will soon be unable to give at all,” says psychologist and educator Anne Hanley. “It’s a lot like the airline oxygen mask rule of thumb: Put on your own mask first before trying to help someone else.”
However, that can be easier said than done. “Even though I don’t always practice what I preach, I often remind myself, ‘you have nothing to give if your bucket is empty.’ As helpers or caregivers of others, we need to remember to fill our buckets first, then give freely from that abundance.”
- The best way to get in this important time for yourself is to schedule it. Write it on the calendar or put it on your computer calendar, depending on which you use. Schedule at least a half hour every day, and don’t be afraid to let your family know that this time is important to you and you will be unavailable during that time.
- Where to find this time? If your schedule is already full, try cutting back on time spent surfing the Internet or skipping watching TV when it’s not one of your favorite programs.
Depending on what activities and demands already fill your day, your “me time” needs may vary. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a bath, complete with relaxing music, a beverage, and bubbles or bath salts.
- Curl up with your favorite book.
- Sign up for a fitness class you’ve always wanted to try.
- Find a quiet space and try an easy meditation exercise.
- Meet with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or just call him or her to chat.
- Take a walk in a nice outdoor setting.
- Relax with a mug of coffee or tea on the porch.
- Schedule a mani/pedi or spa treatment every now and then, or treat yourself to an at-home spa treatment every week.
- Sign up for a class and learn something that interests you.
- Use your time doing a hobby you enjoy or trying a new hobby.
The possibilities are endless! The important thing is to do something for yourself each and every day. During your “me time,” try and stay in the moment rather than worrying about or planning other aspects of your life. You are worth it!