Coming back from the gym – all sweaty and after a rigorous exercise; yet it felt energetic, adrenalin high and in general happy. Well, beyond the obvious scientific reasons of exercise, heart pumping blood circulation et al; one of the main reasons that those days are some of the best days is because I was completely recharged- as a battery! Those 20-30 minutes is like a time off – time off from all sorts of thoughts like kids, homework, grocery list, office assignments etc. Whether taking a walk outside in the open or walking on the treadmill it was only my smartphone with favorite songs as good company. It was as if- I was in my world but slightly out of it for just 30 minutes. It was… my “Me Time”
With work time, partner or family time and social time all demanding our attention; we are constantly juggling our day-to-day responsibilities. Finding as little as 15-30 minutes a day of uninterrupted, relaxing “me” time is challenging at best. “Me” time allows us to De-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. Taking time for yourself allows you to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace. So how can we make sure that with all these activities going on around us , we are able to prioritize ourselves first?
Here are some tips that can prove helpful in the process.
1. ME” is individual – it includes doing something that YOU like doing. It could include one of your hobbies or executing one of the goals and resolutions (after all weight loss, healthy living is a universal goal and have been in our list for quite some time) or it could be as simple an activity as looking at the sunrise and sipping a cup of hot brewing coffee!
2. Make yourself a Priority – First please realize how important it is .Look at it through another lens – taking care of yourself will make you a better parent and partner. You’ll be more fun to be around and more responsive to your family!
OK, so you’re convinced. It’s time to take time for you. Now, when can you fit it in? Don’t wait for the time to just magically appear. It won’t.
3. Schedule Your ‘Me’ Time – it is as important as the pediatrician’s visit, the office conference call or your meeting with the interior designer. Treat it just like any other appointment. Many of us are efficient project managers in our work lives; but not so well in our personal lives. You have to build in battery recharge time. Maybe starting with at least 20-30 minutes a day is a good idea at first. And yes while you’re building into your schedule, promise yourself that you won’t waste it.
4. Don’t think of what’s coming up next – Many times while we are executing routine; we end up “planning our day”. Planning the day ahead is a good practice; but waiting for a few minutes won’t cause any harm or upheaval in the schedule. Just be present in that moment – no matter what is happening around you.
There is always that cupboard which will need to be cleaned, or a grocery list seeking your attention but for those 30 minutes – all this and more can wait.
While talking to a few friends – there were a myriad of activities available that could be considered :
- Sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. Or a cup of coffee and no newspaper. Just watch the clouds go by. No phone or calendar allowed.
- Pet your pet. Focus for 5 minutes on cuddling with cat or dog. You’ll both feel better.
- Put on your iPod and hit shuffle. Then just sit and listen.
- Read one chapter of a book you’ve wanted to make time for. Keep a basket in your office or living room with a good book, magazine, crossword puzzle, or other short escapes.
- Find a nearby park and go for a brisk walk.
- Putter. This doesn’t mean cleaning the house or organizing your kids’ clothes. Instead, it means doing little things at home that you enjoy, like trimming the rosebush and putting together a bouquet for your office or kitchen.
- Schedule a class that you’ve always wanted to take just for fun.
Remember these “ME” time activities are so positive that they make you feel good about yourself and contribute to building a happier you.