MORE TIME FOR ME
Making sure you take care of yourself.
We all need ‘me time’ no matter how busy we are. In fact, the busier we are, the more conscious we need to be about the space we are creating for ourselves. We lead full-on, busy lives and the one thing we never seem to have, is time for ourselves. Finding as little as 10-20 minutes a day of uninterrupted ‘me time’ can seem like an impossible task.
Our lives are so over scheduled that sometimes life can feel like one long to-do list. Let’s face it, once you’ve raced off to work, dropped kids to childcare, sport or music, then made a meal and everything else that goes along with running a house, there doesn’t seem to be much time left over for anything else - least of all you! Lack of time for ourselves often leads to feeling tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and off balance.
When we take time for ourselves to do the things that we enjoy, relax or even do nothing at all, we end up happier, healthier and feeling much better. Taking time for ourselves allows us to renew, heal and create reserves of energy and peace. So, it’s about time that we do not feel guilty about taking some time out. We need to be a bit kinder to ourselves for the sake of our sanity.
Whilst wearing the many hats of mother, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, coach, colleague and friend, I have learnt that I must value my own needs. This for me may take the form of meditation, a run or a relaxing bath. By
‘ME TIME’ ALLOWS US TO DE-STRESS, UNWIND & REJUVENATE.
practising this self-care as a ritual in my day, it ensures that I have what is required to give my best to the people in my life.
What is ‘me time’?
‘Me time’ is NOT doing chores or clearing emails! It means different things to different people. It could be reading a book, having a cup of tea in the sunshine, a dinner out with friends, trying a new recipe, an exercise class, a walk, a massage or even some quiet, still breathing - anything that makes you feel good and that you enjoy.
If you are used to putting others first it’s hard to prioritise yourself and not feel guilty about it. Consider an aeroplane when we are told to put on our oxygen masks first before attending to others. The idea clashes with our instincts. What does it really mean? Simply put: If you don’t put your mask on first, you won’t be there for all those other people, when they need you. You will be unconscious.
The same applies to us. Our natural tendency is to do first for others, because we are caring, loving, nurturing, responsible, supportive and competent people. However, just like the oxygen mask, we need to take care of ourselves, so we can effectively take care of the people we love.
‘Me time’ is good for you.
Taking some ‘me time’ is vital in protecting our physical, mental and emotional health.
Taking a little time refreshes and reenergizes you. It allows you to think more clearly and make better decisions. Other benefits can include sleeping better and reduced irritability, anxiety, fatigue, stress and sickness. And when you do this, you come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.
How to make ‘me-time’ happen.
It can be quite a challenge to find time for yourself. Unless you plan it - ‘me time’ can easily fall off the to-do list.
Commitment to self. Overcoming the feeling that ‘me time’ is selfish and that in fact it’s a necessary dimension of selfcare is the first step. When you are tired, stressed and pulled in too many directions, it is impossible to give your best to all that you must accomplish.
Prioritise your time. Do you check your emails constantly? Answer personal calls in the middle of a work-day? Spend time mindlessly scrolling through social media? Does this waste your time? If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to prioritise your responsibilities and gain more time that way.
Learn to say ‘No’. Practice makes perfect but it is okay to say no to things that you don’t really want to do, need to do and don’t value.
Plan for it. Unless you plan for it, in your very busy, over committed life, it is likely to fall of the ‘to do’ list. Be pro-active about
fitting it in. Schedule the activity, just as you would an appointment or a meeting.
• Commit to a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes a day. Do something that you enjoy or maybe do nothing and that allows you to let go of responsibility.
• Create a daily ritual. This might be a bath, going for an evening walk, getting up early to meditate or have a quiet cup of tea alone. Build it into your day and make it something you look forward to.
No matter what ‘me time’ means for you, it shouldn’t be at the bottom of your to-do list. Creating room for down time is something we should all be doing to stay healthy and happy. Exercise, nutritious food and plenty of sleep are vital for good health, but ‘me-time’ is another essential element in your day.
Megan McGrath is passionate about supporting and empowering women towards achieving healthy, balanced and fulfilling lives. Megan has a Health Science degree, is a professional accredited Wellness Coach, a certified Fitness Trainer and Founder of Chasing Sunrise – a Health and Wellness Consultancy.