The importance of having 'Me-Time'
In today’s society many of us lead busy lives – running around like headless chickens trying to fit in all of our daily obligations and duties. We fill our days with work, family and sporting commitments, racing through each day to make the most of every minute. Often we are so busy trying to please everyone else that we can forget to take a step back and ask how we, ourselves are doing. We spread ourselves so thinly, but it can often be to our own detriment. This article takes a look at the importance of taking ‘me-time’ each day, and why it can be beneficial to help us reset, relax and refocus for the weeks ahead.
Taking time out for us has become a real luxury. Something we only afford ourselves once all other work has been completed and all tasks ticked off. Many of us may even feel selfish in taking this time out, placing guilt on ourselves and thinking that that we could be doing more or achieving higher. But taking time out to reset and refocus can be one of the most important things we can offer ourselves. It gives us time to reassess where our stress levels are sitting, what our priorities are and organise the remainder of our day or week. When we are sick we make time to go to the doctor, just as we make time to get our hair cut, go to the dentist or buy our groceries. So maybe it is time we ask ourselves why we don’t make this time available to look after our own mental health too. Adding ‘Me-Time’ into your daily routines doesn’t have to involve huge changes or hours of your time – it can be as simple as a few everyday habits that provide some much needed moments of downtime. Check out a few of these suggestions below, and have a look at where you can add more ‘Me-Time’ into your daily schedule.
Morning Routines: Time for a cuppa?
The mornings can often be a hectic and busy time. As we race around getting ready for the day ahead – by the time we shower, have breakfast, then run out the door to commute for work, we can be left feeling frazzled and stressed before the day has even begun. This can seriously affect our headspace and even set us up for a reduced performance and lower concentration levels throughout the remainder of our day. Taking time out, or making time during this busy schedule can help to set us up with a more positive and relaxed mindset to face whatever confronts us for the rest of the day. A simple way we can look to do this is by taking an extra 5 – 10 minutes in the morning to simply breathe and focus on the present. Avoid checking work emails over breakfast, or grabbing a coffee to go. Instead try reading the paper over your morning muesli, or insist of making time to have a cup of tea at the table before you carry on with your day. This simple addition into your day may help you to take a breather or refocus on your daily and weekly goals.
Lunchtime Routines: How about a quick walk?
We’ve all used the phrase “I’ll grab lunch on the go” before. Our busy lifestyles, combined with the pressure to constantly achieve and work harder leaves us little time to either sit and enjoy our lunch, or use this time to take a moment or two for ourselves. We feel guilty if we leave our desks for too long, or convince ourselves that the work will never get done if not in that moment. But what if taking that moment, that time for ourselves, actually increased our productivity and motivation for the rest of the day. Depending on the nature of our work or schedules we all have different availability throughout the day – but whether it’s for a 10 minute lunch break away from your office or managing to get in a 30 minute walk outside around the block, sneaking a little bit of ‘Me-Time’ into your lunchtime break may just provide you with the chance to prioritise, simplify and organise your afternoon ahead.
Evening Routines: Ever tried meditation?
After a busy day running around completing errands and ensuring that we have ticked all jobs off our lists, many of us finish the evening tired, run-down and ready for bed. We move through the motions of dinner, dishes, bed and sleep without giving pause to consider what we have done to wind down from the day. Similar to our morning routines, this addition of ‘Me-Time’ doesn’t have to be time-consuming or push our bedtime back by hours. It may be as simple as a quick 5 minute breathing meditation before bed, or perhaps dedicating 30 minutes each night to reading your favourite book. This small addition can help us to unwind and distress – furthermore helping to encourage a good night’s sleep and a clearer mindset for the next day.
Click here to read more on some other ways to help you refocus and reorganise your daily routines.