Me-time

It’s time to make it about YOU

Do you feel guilty and selfish when thinking about taking “me” time.

Why not think about it this way – taking a bit of time for yourself everyday will refresh and reboost you enabling you to keep up with the rest of your busy life and the various demands of your family, work, friends etc.

That bit of “me” time may be the key to creating more balance, calm and happiness for yourself and your family.

Our western society tends to praise work ethic and whilst I believe in hard work and doing a great job, I also believe you can only do that effectively if you look after yourself.  You’re no use to anyone if you collapse in a heap for weeks, when a few minutes a day could prevent it.

Most of us have multiple roles including:

  • Professional
  • Family – if you have children, elderly parents, partner, siblings etc
  • Social – keeping up with friends
  • Community – volunteering for the local soccer club, Guides or school P&C, the list goes on

These are all fulfilling in their own way but you need to be on top form to perform effectively.

Think about what we are teaching our children

Better person, better parent
Parenting is all about setting examples and teaching our children to become well rounded functioning members of society.

What better way to set an example and teach self worth and self love than to start with yourself.  Our children need to see us care for ourselves in what we do (exercise, a little bit every day), what we eat (fresh, unprocessed, moderately), drink (more water, less sugary, fizzy and alcoholic drinks).

I’d like my three children to grow up as balanced, grounded individuals who work hard, have healthy relationships and are an active part in the community, but it makes my heart sing when I see them curled up in the corner with a book.  I let them off any number of chores if they are reading because I think it’s so important to take that time out.

There is very little in this world that can’t wait for 20 minutes.

The key to us being able remain focused, calm and kind when life pushes our buttons, is by taking time out to rejuvenate.

Here are 8 steps that will help you get started:

1 – Acknowledge that you deserve some time to yourself every day
Stop beating yourself up for taking time out for you and realise that in the end, everyone will benefit.  If you are tired, stressed and running in different directions all the time, you can’t keep giving your best.  Explain to your children that you need time for yourself – they get it more than we realise.

2 – Decide how best to spend your “me” time
If you had an extra 20 mins; 60 mins, all afternoon or a whole day, what would you do to feel rejuvenated?
Write a list of ideas and start scheduling them in. 
I have a friend who sits down for 30 mins a day before the children IMG_3721come home from school.  If you’re an early bird, maybe get up half an hour earlier to mediate.

Personally, exercising on my own is one of my “me-times”, but I also love to curl up in one of my big comfy armchairs with a good book or a crossword puzzle.

3 – Work out what’s wasting your time each day
Constantly on facebook or checking your emails?  Do you always seem to be at the shops because you’ve run out of something?  Try scheduling specific times to check on your social media and plan your meals in advance so you can shop accordingly.  Maybe try online groceries or one of the meal services for a few nights a week.

Personally, I get twitchy if I don’t have pre-cooked meals in the freezer.  It really starts my day well if I can pull something out to defrost in the morning and know that dinner is done.

4 – Repeat after me “no”.  Again – “no”
There is nothing rude about saying no. It’s a skill that most of us need to learn.  If you feel like you always say yes to people and then walk away regretting your commitment, try using phrases such as “can I get back to you on that” or “I’ll just have to check my husband/partner’s/work etc diary and I’ll let you know”

5 – Here’s another key phrase “could you help me please”
That’s right – learn to ask for, and accept offers of help.  I’m a great believe in the giving circle: you help one person and then someone else helps you.  No need to keep score (and if someone does, go back to point 4), it all evens out in the end.   Build a network of supportive friends and family and look out for each other.  When the kids go for a play date, take an hour for yourself.

6 – Commit to 20 mins “me” time a day
We need to schedule meetings and appointments otherwise they don’t happen. This is no different – book in your time and stick to it

7 – Create a daily ritual
It could be taking a quiet bath at the end of the day, meditating in the morning, walking the dog or reading your book.

8 – Be proactive!
Stop complaining about having no time and make some time.  It’s a bit like exercising – you just have to schedule it in and do it.

While you’re scheduling your me-time, why not schedule some exercise in too (unless of course that is your me-time!)
Sign up today for outdoor, hard work, results focused exercise groups.  Join a group of fun, encouraging and supportive women and cross “start exercising” off the to do list NOW.

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