By Lori Hanson
Is “Me time” in your vocabulary? You may know how to spell it, but do you practice it as part of your lifestyle?
If you are stressed out, tired and always running it’s time to make a shift and take better care of yourself and connect with your “me.” I talk with many people who tell me they can’t create time for themselves – yet they are worn out and not happy. I know people who chronically create their day with so many things on their to do list, there is hardly breathing room. And these tend to be the chronic complainers. I call it the “You do so you can bitch factor.”
When I lost my “dot.bom” job back in 2001 I asked myself what would happen if I let my workouts come first. How would I feel if I enjoyed weekend mornings and weekend days instead of pushing myself to do, do, do seven days a week. It was the start of creating a new lifestyle for myself. Over the years, I’ve added more time for myself by meditating for 30 minutes, then an hour and now twice a day. It keeps me in a calm, tranquil place and I protect that time along with my workouts and walks with Sasha, my Malamute.
The reward I’ve received is not being so stressed out, feeling great about myself and knowing that I’m prioritizing my health. I cherish the times where I am able to just “Be” a human and not feeling obligated to “Doing” constantly.
1. Shut your cell phone, tablet, and computer off for at least an hour a day in the evening.
Create a time when people can’t reach you. Keep the devices turned off at night so you can rest. If you start to feel withdrawals, just remind yourself that you lived just fine before these devices were put in your hand!
2. Plan time for yourself on a weekly basis.
If you are new to this start with 15 minutes, then increase it to 30 minutes. Planning me time means, no outside stimulation. Take a walk, take a bath, read a book, journal, sit quietly and practing deep breathing. Get a facial or massage or explore something new like using a guided meditation CD.
3. Plan time to reflect on life and how you are living.
Take time on a weekly or monthly basis to sit quietly and reflect on your life, your career, your relationships, your healthy, your goals…are you happy with where you’re at? If not, take the time to set new goals and start better habits. This is a practice that is incredibly beneficial an often overlooked by people who live on autopilot.
Bonus Idea: Make plans to hang out with your family or friends and have a no technology zone while you’re together. Focus in on the conversation, make eye contact with them. Play games or go on an outing together. Rediscover what it’s like to just hang out.
One you start to master some of these early steps, increase the time you spend on them until you enjoy an hour or two a week with ME time. You can even add meditation as part of your daily routine for 30-60 minutes or more. The more you experiment and practice having me time, the easier it will be. Then you’ll wake up one day and notice you’re hooked on spending time with YOU.