Me time is the art of enjoying time alone, and appreciating your own company. It is about doing things that you enjoy. Me, myself and I are great company to be in. It is often underestimated how key it is to reflect, when looking at how to get a healthier life. Putting yourself in the centre, and enjoying solitude can be a challenge. We look at 5 reasons why Me time can be daunting, and 5 reasons why it is so important. You also get some great tips of what do with your precious Me time.
5 Reasons Why Me Time is a Challenge
- Time: We lead crazy, busy lives. Work, domestic chores, social obligations, voluntary assignments & charities take time. We have family, friends and colleagues that ‘need’ us. To find the time for you – and you alone – is a challenge.
- Guilt: Spending time on “Me” is luxury, and tinged with guilt feelings. We ‘should not’ be enjoying Me, Myself and I, right? Time outside work is supposed to be about chores, caring for loved ones, taking part in cultural/voluntary/charity events, group sports etc. You feel guilty if you contemplate time on your own.
- Fear of Loneliness: Feeling lonely is not nice, and is often an unintentional state of being — as opposed to choosing time to be alone.
- ‘We’ Time: Finding the time for ‘Me’ robs our family of ‘We’ time. Children, Spouses and Parents need us in so many ways. If we do not spend what little leisure time we have with them, we are ‘bad’ parents, spouses and children.
- Social and Cultural acceptance: Scheduling time for personal care, self enjoyment and self-reflection is not part of every culture, nor socially acceptable everywhere. If you start taking time for ‘Me’ you fear being criticized by friends, family and colleagues.
5 Reasons Why Me Time is Important
- Time: Statistics on what we spend out Free time on is an interesting read. Leisure time – i.e. the time when we are not actively working or doing domestic chores is spent differently depending on where you live, gender, and how old you are. On average we have 5 hours / day to do domestic chores, take care of family, socialize, watch TV, exercise, and do DIY. Me Time to recharge, reflect, and heal from the business of our lives is as important as eating well, exercising, drinking water and resting. In the average tally of the hours available, finding alone time can be a challenge. Once you understand how crucial Me time is to your overall health and wellbeing you will want to try too. And, once you see how these precious minutes benefit not only you, but also those around you, you will find yourself scheduling Me time regularly too.
- Guilt: Finding time for you, and gulping in the pleasure of turning off the outside world to revel in what you want to do is utter luxury. To spend time on you – and only you – seems selfish, and wasted time that could be spent on chores, projects and ‘must-dos’. Yet – Me time is essential to feeling whole, in balance and a key part of getting into healthier habits. A new you means understanding yourself on so many levels, and finding what makes YOU tick. You become more focused, calm and empowered by having Me time. Transforming the guilt into a ‘value added’ benefit will make you need, deserve and schedule Me time!
- Fear of Loneliness: Challenging yourself to make moments when you feel lonely become meaningful alone time is part of growing into a healthier whole new you. Val Monroe describes in her article “The unexpected Joy of Being Alone” on Oprah.com how she discovered the pleasure of being on her own — once she gave up her fear of loneliness. This is an inspirational recommended read which will have you reaching for some solitude. Fear not! Once you realise how great you are to be with – you will also want to be ‘A Loner’ now and again. Enjoy it 🙂
- ‘We’ Time: We have family, partners, children, parents, relatives and close friend that need us. That’s fine! We give all that we can because we love them, and of course they need us. This feeling of being ‘needed’ can also overwhelm us, and there is little room for us. Me, Myself and I disappear in the array of dutiful neediness tasks. The problem is that the constant ‘We’ time can make our own identities disappear – and part of becoming a whole, healthy person is realising ones limits, boundaries and the importance of taking care of need one self. In this hilarious article in The New Statesman, Glosswitch speaks about the conflicting feelings of what Me time is supposed to be – and how her kids voices in her head keep telling her that she is spending too much time on the ‘Soap Box’. In contrast, read also here from Good Theraphy.org, why too much ‘We’ time can actually make the ‘We’ become weaker. An investment in ‘Me’ time makes ‘We” time stronger, quality filled and better.
- Social and Cultural acceptance: Culturally there are differences between how our own time is respected by family and friends. In Northern Europe we are group minded, and often concentrated on making sure free time is all about family, social gatherings, study circles, ‘Boys/Girls night out’ etc. It is rather ‘drink centric’ and being on your own is perceived as sad, and perhaps even bad (for you). Time for just me, myself and I is not part of the bigger agenda per se. It is more socially/culturally accepted in Southern Europe that woman have a reserved right to look after their ‘beauty’. The eternally beautiful Sofia Loren is famous for her beauty regime, and the time she spends on her personal care is really Me time. I have observed, how women in Italy will go to the hairdresser, have a steam, go to the gym, or have a pedicure. Not with friends! Alone. An Italian friend described his wife’s Saturday morning ‘me-time’ eloquently: “It creates a balance in the overall family! It is good for Sanity, Wellbeing and Beauty!” Her time was not questioned, it was part of the weekly routine – and one that he was not going to change for anything! The whole routine is not so much about an appointment in a beauty parlour – but rather allowing time to reflect, think, recharge while also giving your skin, hair etc some TLC – Me Time!
5 Tips that take 5 minutes for your Me time
I like my own company, and have many little things that I do, that I do not necessarily share with anyone. They are my little secrets. Secrets that keep me smiling, sane, and happy. I get grumpy if I do not get time on my own now and again. It has become a very necessary part of my lifestyle change process.
Try it! Why not pick one of the five tips that take but 5 minutes.
- Take a walk in nature, and talk to yourself. You get such great answers! Don’t worry about people starring – you don’t necessarily have to shout, do you? Just find a key question and ask it out load. It surprises me, how often I come back to myself with just the right answer.
Treat yourself to a pampering session. I have a favourite facial treatment, that takes but 5 minutes. The Galvanic machine was a bit of an investment, but so much cheaper than any SPA treatment, and the effect is stunning. It deep cleanses, irons out wrinkles, and leaves you looking fabulously radiant (dare I say younger looking?) for days after the five-minute session. (tip: click on the photo or contact The GOODista to get this great Me time tool)
- Spend 5 minutes to browse the Amazon.co.uk site for movies, clothes and books that inspire YOU. I keep a wish list running, and reward myself for each new step I achieve on my lifestyle journey. Goals keep me focused, and Me time is my reward. I get Movies I loved a long time ago; Fitness outfits to enjoy my newfound healthier me in; Books about Nutrition and Health (what are your favourite topics?). I DO actually watch the movies, read the books and wear the clothes – as my Me time is now an essential part of feeling good. 1 1/2 hours of happily singing along to ‘Grease The Movie’ is great for body and soul! For now — just build up list of what you will enjoy for your well deserved Me time.
- Find 5 minutes to appreciate absolute silence — and really let your mind go. 5 minutes of peace, just for you. I often do that while giving myself a foot massage, with another favourite cream — ‘Sole solution’ penetrates every part of my feet – leaving them utterly soft ( and not greasy!). The smell of Sole Solution is these days enough to send me to a zen place. Those feet sessions are part of my favourite Me time moments of the day!
- Take 5 minutes to write down quotes that ‘talk to you’. Go to Pinterest, and look for quotes that inspire you. Print them off, or write them down on sticky notes. Bring these with you into your busy day, and look at them now and again. Those glances will bring you strength when you need it, motivate you and keep you going until your next essential date with yourself.
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Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good
Very good thinking indeed. Important also to realise the varying limitations that emotional, ethical commitments and practical demands from the worklife and social life sets upon us.
Keep on your valuable life quality promoting work!
Thanks for your comments, and indeed claiming ME time becomes even more important in todays world, to cope with the emotions, ethics and practical demands of life. Keep reading and commenting – it makes The GOODista better 🙂
Thank you for sharing your lifestyle change with all of us. You are an inspiration! I like your insight, and the practical and easy to follow information you give. I realize that all you need is that first step!