For those who believe in always putting others first, it can be hard even to say “me time” out loud, let alone claim it. But taking time for yourself to relax and recharge is essential to your good health.
Why You Need Self-Care
Stress, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise can contribute to chronic health issues such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Taking regular time-outs creates a healthier lifestyle.
Self-care also helps you take better care of others. Harvard Medical School assistant professor Dr. Beth Frates explains the necessity of self-care this way: You can’t pour from an empty cup. In other words, if you don’t fulfill your own needs, you’ll have nothing to give to others.
How to Make Time for Yourself
If you thrive on having a planned routine, schedule your self-care moments the way you do office meetings and taking Mom to the doctor. If you prefer a more flexible approach, write down your “me time” goals. That will help you remember them when you’re deciding how to spend those precious moments of free time.
Let others know how they can help you. Ask family members to pitch in with chores, babysitting duties or picking up dinner. Hire a professional to finish one of those DIY projects you secretly regret starting.
Ideas for Indulging in “Me Time”
- Take an evening stroll to catch an incredible view of the sunset.
- Escape into an engrossing novel by reading a few pages whenever the house is quiet.
- Take a class just because it sounds like fun.
- Tune out the surrounding chaos with noise-canceling headphones.
- When everyone else leaves the house, turn up your favorite music and dance.
Go ahead and enjoy “me time” without guilt. It’s good for you and the ones you love.