Go­ing to ex­tremes

Friday - - Society -

Kristina* gets home from work at the end of a long day and she’s in the house with her chil­dren for 10 min­utes, be­fore she heads off out to the gym. Af­ter she’s worked out, she re­laxes in the spa for another half hour. She tells her­self her chil­dren are well cared for by her hus­band Raj and her mother-in-law So­nia, and she de­serves her time out be­cause she works so hard as a lawyer.

Yet when she even­tu­ally gets home af­ter 10pm, ev­ery­one is in bed and So­nia has gone home, leav­ing a note about what the chil­dren need for the fol­low­ing day.

“I don’t un­der­stand it,” says Kristina, who has sons aged 11 and 14, and a nine-year-old daugh­ter. “I was al­ways stressed, try­ing to be a good mother and work­ing full-time. I read how we needed time for our­selves and how self-care was im­por­tant, es­pe­cially if we worked long hours, so I joined the lo­cal health club.

“But now I seem to have grown apart from Raj and I’m afraid we might end up sep­a­rat­ing. When­ever we talk now, we’re like strangers.

“When I try to catch up with what’s go­ing on with my chil­dren, it’s ob­vi­ous I’ve missed out on so much. They laugh and say, ‘Keep up, Mum!’ but I don’t know where to start. At week­ends I feel like an out­sider in my own fam­ily. It’s eas­ier to go to the gym.”

Ex­perts agree that 39-year-old Kristina has over­done her Me Time, and she has gone from hav­ing no time to her­self to hav­ing no time for her hus­band and fam­ily. She has swapped one prob­lem for another and has put her mar­riage in jeop­ardy and lost con­nec­tion with her chil­dren.

So what’s the an­swer? Is Me Time re­ally just a dan­ger­ous, self­ish in­dul­gence?

Ex­perts say that Me Time has be­come syn­ony­mous with al­most any­thing we do for our­selves, from us­ing a mois­turiser to go­ing to a re­treat, and it is some­thing that we all have as­pired to as we have tried to have it all – a ca­reer, a fam­ily, a lovely home and a so­cial life.

But some­times we can put so much em­pha­sis on the time we spend cher­ish­ing our­selves, whether we’re at a yoga class or just peo­ple-watch­ing from a cof­fee shop, that we do it at the cost of im­por­tant peo­ple in our lives, and we go from one ex­treme to the other. Life coach Sam Skull agrees that while we all need time for our­selves, those who be­come ob­sessed with Me Time put key re­la­tion­ships in jeop­ardy.

“I think that’s why the di­vorce rates glob­ally are so high,” says UK-based Sam, who runs well-be­ing cour­ses all over the world.

“Men and women who are very ca­reer-driven get home in the evening, then go straight back out to the gym or meet friends. They’ve come to be­lieve they need the time out and they de­serve it, which they do now and then, but they’ve gone to ex­tremes. As a re­sult, their part­ners and fam­i­lies feel ne­glected and, if they are not care­ful, they be­gin to drift apart.”

The se­cret, says Sam, is to get the right bal­ance be­tween Me Time and time with those

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.