“Me-Time” The Last Affordable Luxury

“Me-Time”: The Last Affordable Luxury
me timeIf you are like many people I’ve talked to recently, the notion of “me-time” often gets pushed aside in order to care for children, family or work responsibilities.  Statements like “I don’t have time”, “Work needs me” or “I feel guilty leaving my family” become believable.  After all, taking time out of the day to focus on you is selfish.  Or is it?

Simple question for you…While you are taking care of everyone and everything, who is taking care of you?

Take your car for example.  Every now and then your car needs attention – gas, a tune up, oil change, new tires – in order to run efficiently.  What happens if you fail to give your car this attention?  It won’t run efficiently or, depending on how long you wait, the car won’t run at all.  Our bodies work in a similar way.  In order to run efficiently, our bodies and minds also need attention, a rest or our own personal tune-up. Not taking “me-time” is actually more selfish than taking it.

Taking some time each day to focus on your needs allows you to:

  • Have the energy you need to continue caring for everyone and everything else in your life
  • Become a healthy role model to those around you.
  • Experience less stress and resentment towards others
  • Experience feel good living

Since others benefit when you recharge your batteries, you might even consider it something you do for others!  And a few minutes is all you need to experience some peace, calm and even a feeling of balance.  Fancy vacations, expensive spa treatments, and 90-minute yoga classes are nice, though not necessary to experience the benefits.  Studies show that even a few minutes to relax and unwind can decrease stress and increase productivity.  Just like our cars, we all need time to slow down and refill in order to run efficiently.

The next time you notice your energy running low, check in with yourself and schedule a few minutes to refill. Get out your calendar and make an appointment with YOU to make it official.  Below is a short list of time and cost-effective ways to bring some always deserved “me-time” into your day.

  • Start your day with a morning walk10 minutes up and down the street will do.
  • Set an alarm to go off at the top of each hour, close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. This takes about 1 minute.
  • Take a lunch time stretch break.  Reaching your arms up over your head or a few neck rolls are a good place to start.  1 to 2 minutes.
  • End your day quietly snuggled up with loved ones, reading a good book, listening to soft music or indulging in a warm bath. Do this one as long as you like.
  • Practice gratitude by taking some time to be thankful for the new day you’ve been given and for the people around you to love and care for. And for the people who love and care for you, too. Gratitude helps keep life in perspective. Do this one for a lifetime.

Get back to your senses and experience feel good living with a few minutes of “me-time” each day.  Give yourself a personal tune-up and you just might experience less stress and more satisfaction when the day is done.

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16 Comments:

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com Lance

    The car comparison is so good here, Stacey! It’s easy to see the outside of the car – what it looks like. Just like with us, it can be easy to notice how a person looks “from the outside”. If things are working, though, under the hood (in the car), then that car isn’t going anywhere – or maybe will require major work to repair it. Just like us, “under the hood”. Small things done regularly go a long way towards preventing something much more major down the road. (I really love this example you’ve used!)

    I *try* to start my day with some quiet time. And when I do, it almost always makes the whole day that much better. And sometimes, just a short walk out into the backyard during the day does the same thing – grounds me back into what is truly important. And that is all very good “me time”, leading to better and more effective “rest of the time”.

  • http://www.lionslinger.com Walter

    Me-time will never be selfish, unless we serve more of our self than to extend our self to our love ones. Much of the wisdom of life comes when we are attune with ourselves. :-)

  • http://evolvingbeings.com Evita

    Excellent reminder Stacey! Many people often forget, and I have to say it is most often women according to not just the stats, but personal experience of the women around me that they cannot take care of others well, unless they take care of themselves first. And as you point out the guilt is a big factor. But taking care of ourselves is not a bad thing, nor should it ever be.

    It is amazing what “me-time” does for our health and happiness, and that translates to all others who share in our lives closely.

  • http://www.workhappynow.com Karl Staib – Work Happy Now

    I try to start my day with Yoga. By just being with my breath and stretching I let go of a lot of my tension. When I don’t practice Yoga, I feel out of sorts. I’m more irritable and prone to sluggishness.

    These are great reminders. We always need to make time for ourselves. It’s the only way we will stay healthy and happy.

  • http://allaboutjoy.typepad.com Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord

    It’s the idea that on a plane, we need to put our own oxygen mask on first before assisting others. We don’t do anyone any good if we’re struggling, so I think the tips you suggested are so very important.
    I think I luck out in that regard: no kids, not married, and a pretty laid back life. I don’t always take time to be grateful for it, but after reading this post, I’m going to say a huge thank you to the universe!
    Be well, and much joy to you!

  • http://theboldlife.com Tess The Bold Life

    Stacey,
    One of my favorite things to do since I quit buying magazines is to go to the library and read my favorites. Doesn’t cost a thing and it’s very quiet!

  • http://serendipitysmiles.com Peggy Nolan

    Hi Stacey!

    Self-care
    Self-care
    Self-care

    I’d LOVE to have you guest blog on my other blog, http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    The more I can get this message out, the better!

    Blessings,
    Peggy
    toolboxgrl at gmail dot com

  • http://www.staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Lance – I love how you put it “rest of the time”…when I start my day quiet and “for me” the rest of the day flows so much smoother.

    Walter – absolutely. Helps get in touch with our true mission in this life.

    Evita – working past that guilt is so difficult. I wish I had a quick fix for people!

    Karl – I love starting my day with yoga and quiet time. Makes for a productive and “feel good” rest of the day.

    Megan – Yes, exactly! It’s the oxygen mask – I use that example in a lot of my live programs.

    Tess – I love that idea! Sometimes I do that in the bookstore, too :-)

  • http://www.etherealjoy.blogspot.com Joy

    Outgoing by nature, I love interacting with and being surrounded by family, friends, the world…but to be my best and enjoy it all most I need me time. I do laps on the beach, find quiet time to read, if all else fails and there truly isn’t time in my day I make sure to look at the sunset. I’ve just started using two days off a month for “me.” There are two rare days when the kids are with their dad and I am off work; I used to use those to spend with friends, but now I find an activity I enjoy and just do it. Whether “it” is enjoying my living space by myself, or being out and around somewhere, it gives me the time to “rediscover” myself. I look forward to those two days so much that now I do what I need to in order to “protect them” and I want my two youngs ones to establish a bit of that for themselves. This next year I hope to branch out a bit and take a weekend every few months for myself–kind of a stretch but it is posisble:)

    • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

      Hi Joy, I completely agree with your first line – I love being around others, but best for me to regroup when I’m alone enjoying some peace and quiet – whatever that means on a given day!

  • http://serendipitysmiles.com Peggy

    Hi Stacey,

    Self-care
    Self-care
    Self-care

    I write about this every which way I can think of to help support and encourage stepmoms – women have such a strong tendency to put themselves last and everyone else first and then wonder why they’re tired, angry, resentful, unappreciated, unloved, and disrespected.

    I would LOVE if you’d guest blog on my other blog, “The Stepmom’s Toolbox” about Self-Care and how important it is in the lives of stepmoms and women in general.

    If you are interested, just shoot me an email at toolboxgrl@gmail.com.

    I would love to have your voice on The Toolbox!

    Thanks,
    Peggy

  • http://www.purposepowercoaching.com Chris Edgar

    Thanks for this Stacey. One thing I’d add is that, when people talk to me about how they have no “me time,” sometimes I wonder whether they’ve lost touch with the reason why they do much of what they do. Take driving the kids to school, for instance. A lot of people see this as just a “should” that they hate but have to do, but what if they focused instead on what they want to accomplish by doing it — getting their kids an education, for example? I think stepping back and taking a look at why we’re doing what we’re doing can also help with the lack of me-time problem.

    • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

      Chris- you bring up a good point, especially about the “shoulds”. They can ruin us if we’re not aware of them. It’s always helpful to take a step back and ask “why”…at least I think so – provides a new perspective.

  • Pingback: Quick Links « Demanding Joy()

  • http://www.addstressmanagement.com Mimi

    Hi,
    I came across your website and love your suggestions! I agree that it’s easy to get so lost in life and responsibilities that we need external reminders to take care of ourselves. Like putting “me” time in a calendar or setting our cell phones to remind us to stretch or breathe. I coach adults who have ADD (ADHD) and have just made a new website around self-care and stress management. I hope it’s okay that I put it here:

    http://www.addstressmanagement.com

    Come by and visit!
    Thanks,
    Mimi

    • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

      Hi Mimi, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. I look forward to checking out your site.

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