Taking “Me” Time

Jordan Robinson
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Weighing the Importance of Wellness

It used to be that taking time for yourself meant indulging in an activity that didn’t involve work or your family. Today, however, there is a fundamental shift in how people think about taking time for themselves.

Even though it’s your job to take care of your family, and it’s your immediate family’s job to take care of you, and your family members’ jobs, in turn, are to take care of you, your immediate job is to take care of yourself. This is what it means to be self-sufficient.

Self-sufficiency is a skill that you develop through maturity. With maturity comes a greater sense of independence and inner peace. The ability to be present in the moment is a wonderful skill to have, at any age. Self-sufficiency means that you are strong enough to take care of yourself, even if other people around you aren’t as mature or as capable.

How do you cultivate self-sufficiency? How can you learn to take care of yourself? Part of the answer lies in your ability to imagine what you need to have a healthy life. Part of the answer lies in your ability to imagine what you need to be happy.

Time for Self-Care

Human beings have a natural fear of death. Our mortality is a dark cloud hovering over our lives, especially when we’re idle and alone with our thoughts.

We avoid this fear by continually striving to accumulate more. Possessions and money aren’t the only rewards that are offered – self-confidence is no doubt also a carrot dangling on a string.

We believe that self-confidence is a measure of our accomplishments. It’s a measurement of our achievements.

Speaking to your loved ones helps you feel love, and speaking to others helps you feel important. But where do you go for help when you’re dealing with personal insecurities? How do you begin to heal when your fears about yourself are so overwhelming?

This is where time for “me” time comes in. This is about taking away the external rewards and doing things that are needed for your healing. It’s a reminder that changing your self-talk is truly the only way to overcome your insecurities. What do you need to work on to feel worthy, confident and happy? Can you afford to do it? This is your time to care for yourself and improve the quality of your life.

Every one of us could use a little more balance in our lives. Unfortunately, the world is always moving at a breakneck pace. To keep up, it’s easy for you to get caught up in the whirlwind of day-to-day life. However, it’s important to find the time to take care of yourself, as well as find ways to enjoy life.

One of the most effective ways to eliminate stress – and enjoy healthy living – is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice of being in the moment and paying attention to your feelings and emotions without judgment or expectation.

You can practice mindfulness through meditation, mindful eating, and in other ways. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Another way to improve your quality of life is obtaining self-management skills. This process involves taking responsibility for your emotions, behaviors, and attitudes. In short, this means that you commit to getting what you want out of life instead of living vicariously through your friends and family.

To help with this process, consider using self-affirmation exercises. These exercises will help you learn how to recognize and accept yourself as a good person. They’re a good way to learn to be more loving and accepting of who you are.

Exercising Self-Care

The idea of creating “me” time in your life can be intimidating. The stats on the matter are staggering. According to the American Psychological Association, 86 percent of those surveyed said they were overextended.

You may have experienced the impact of other obligations on your free time already. You resent time spent at an in-law’s or with a friend’s child because it takes away time you feel you have earned. You just want to rest and relax but don’t have the time to do so.

The pervasive pressure to make commitments and take on obligations without a break extends into your personal time, too. You make plans with friends or your partner and cancel your plans to accommodate someone else. You don’t say no to help others, which makes it difficult to say no to requests from your boss.

You’ve likely used the excuse of “work-life balance” at some point when really, you’re just trying to avoid “work.” Usually, a no-win situation is at the root of feeling overextended. You’ve accepted too many commitments at work, which leaves you with little time to meet your personal goals.

Care to Clean?

When you think of “me time,” cleaning may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it should be. Studies have shown that people with even mild cleaning tendencies (that is, cleaning when you see a mess) have a reduced risk of becoming depressed.

Research shows that house cleaning helps relieve stress, anxiety, and pain. Here are some strategies to clean up your house to help you de-stress:

Concentrate on small, simple, and quick tasks.

There’s no reason to think about cleaning your whole house at once. Do one small task at a time, and you’ll feel more accomplished at the end of the day.

Choose indoor tasks.

Cleaning indoor rooms is a better way to spend “me time” because it’s less likely to make you feel like a worker bee. It will also help with an additional stressor that can come with cleaning “ exterior work. You can spend your “me-time” sweating in the gym or taking a bubble bath instead.

Self-Care and Children

The first few years of parenthood can seem like a revelation. You may have felt like you understood children before you had your own, but when the little cherub makes his or her grand entrance, you are likely to realize that you understand them about as well as you understand quantum physics.

The first few years can be tough; some days it’s hard enough just to remember to breathe. Those early years can feel like a whirlwind of late nights and early mornings; they’re fraught with anxiety and worry about the well-being and safety of your little one.

And when you’re on the edge and your end of the rope is dangling right over a yawning chasm of exhaustion, it’s easy to forget to think about you. You’re knee deep in diapers, wrestling match requests, and chickenpox, and then suddenly you’re confronted with the realization that you’re losing yourself in the process.

Self-Care and Gender

Self-care is about making time for yourself and allowing yourself to be the number one priority. It’s about saying, “I’m okay to stop and take care of me.” By taking care of yourself, you’re able to roll with the challenges that come your way.

Caregiving is a tough job. Taking care of your spouse or other loved one who is sick, disabled, or otherwise has special needs can be both physically and emotionally demanding. This is especially true for the caretaker who is a spouse or child, as they are the ones closest to the person receiving care. Even though caregiving is a giant responsibility that is all consuming, it’s important for the caretaker to remember to take care of him or herself.

When your loved one receives care from an outside care program like a care facility or senior living community, it can make it easier and more manageable because it’s available. The support is there on a regular basis, and it’s affordable and convenient. But when you’re the primary care giver to a loved one, there’s no one to give you that break.

Stress-Relieving TLC

Everybody who gets busy has to deal with stress. You’re no different.

When you’re stressed out, the last thing you want to do is add more things to your schedule. After all, who has time for that?

But your body is telling you that it’s time to squeeze in some “me” time.

In fact, everybody could use some “me” time each day.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t carve out an hour or more for yourself in the middle of your busy day. “Me” time isn’t about the length of time. Instead, it’s about the attitude you adopt when you’re on your own.

Taking Time for Yourself

We all have those days (or weeks or months) when we feel like we just can’t connect with who we are on a deeper level. The world gets in the way, life is just too busy, the to-do list is too long, and our relationships become fractured. To get our lives back in order, or to be able to connect with ourselves again, we often need to find some time for ourselves – time for reflection that allows us to find our center and restore our faith in ourselves … our very being.

What you call it is up to you, but we call it Hey, Punch This. The key is, before stepping into the chaos and the bustle of modern life, stepping away for a few minutes to reconnect with yourself. In fact, it’s a great way to begin each day. And the great thing about Hey, Punch This is you don’t have to do anything special, you don’t have to set aside time in your day, because you’re already setting aside time to do whatever you do. So really, you’re not taking time for yourself – you’re taking time as you.

Staying Happy and Healthy

To stay happy and healthy, you need to take time to care for yourself. It is too easy to get caught up in taking care of others that you forget to take care of yourself. Taking “me” time is a way of creating balance in your life. It is a way of letting go of some of the tension in your life and it’s one of the most effective ways to reduce stress.

Two of the most important aspects of taking “me” time are learning to let go and learning to nurture yourself. These two aspects fall under two broader categories—self acceptance and self care. Self acceptance is the ability to reconcile with the fact that you are imperfect. You are not who you want to be … you are who you’re becoming.

Learning to let go of external factors and internal judgments helps you focus on the present moment. This helps you realize that whatever is going on in this moment is supposed to be just the way it is.

Methodology

For this book, I gathered my own personal data and tracked every instance of time I spent alone for a year. I used a timer to track how long each session was and logged this information in a spreadsheet.

Below is a summary of my data, which will guide you in the ways in which you can take “me” time. My hope is that you’ll take a few tips from my study and that you’ll get as much out of these practices as I have.

All of the findings below are based on my data, observations, and experiences. Although your experience will likely be different from mine, I hope that you’ll take a couple of these finding and put them into practice in your life.

I’ve included some ideas for you to consider each week. Look over the idea that you’re most inspired to try this week and incorporate it into your week.

I’ve also provided a weekly schedule. Use it to help you plan out when you’ll try out each of these practices to make the most of your time, but be sure to experiment with your own variations too.

Limitations

There is nothing wrong with taking time to take care of “me,” especially when that includes self-care, and healthy behaviors. We all need to escape the stresses of the world and allow our minds to quiet down. These time-outs centers us and allows us to see the world from a different perspective.

In some cases, that perspective may even be a little negative, and it can be helpful to remember that the more time you allow yourself to take “me time,” the more you’ll make time for “you” time.

Taking time to take care of yourself is just what it sounds like … it involves taking care of yourself. It’s important to learn how to balance that time with the time you spend taking care of others and making sure that everyone is taken care of.

You may not feel ready to do that. Maybe you don’t feel like you have the time to take care of others, or that you’re not good enough to take care of others.

Fair Use Statement

Building your own luxury retreat can impress your friends and family, when you have the time to take off for it.

If you work on this project when you want some time off, you can apply some of the same techniques to the fast construction process.