Do you live a busy life? Most people do! With all your responsibilities, commitments, and attempts at juggling work, a social life, and all sorts of other concerns, it’s hard to find time to spend just by yourself. You might not even think that’s something you want or need to do.
However, finding time to just be by yourself, doing something you at least mostly enjoy, can be very important to overall mental health and wellbeing. There’s a reason people preach the importance of “me time”! But if you’re busy all the time, how can you spare or schedule that kind of personal time? Here are 12 simple ways to dedicate more time to yourself every day.
1. Establish A Me Time Routine
With how crammed our schedules are these days, it might be tempting just to grab me-time whenever you’ve got a spare moment. In actuality, however, you’d net more positive benefits if you carefully set aside some moments of me-time into your schedule. It doesn’t have to be much – it can be as simple as:
- Giving yourself a moment of quiet meditation before starting your day
- Set aside a few minutes every afternoon to do nothing but simply enjoy a glass of lemon water
- Dance along to your favorite songs in the evenings
The idea is to have me-time routines well-integrated into your schedule so you’ll carry them out without second thought. That way, you will always have some time for yourself!
2. Make Bathtime Me Time
No matter how much you love them, having to share a space with someone can get maddening after a while. So although it may seem selfish or inconsequential, it’s essential to set up some hard boundaries – and the bathroom’s a perfect place to start.
When you’re in the bathroom, it should be your sanctuary, no matter how temporary. Consider:
- Locking the door when you’re using the bathroom
- Take time to read something you enjoy
- Enjoy a warm, soothing bath with various products
- Make it a luxurious experience
- Take the time to practice positive thinking directed at yourself
- Remind yourself that this is an act of science-backed healthcare
3. Plan Both Short and Long Me Time
Vacations aside, what’s so crucial about actually taking the time to plan a little me-time if it’s only for a few minutes?
As it turns out, making sure you get the most out of your me-time takes a little more planning work than you might think. Here are a few reasons why:
- Science has shown that high-quality me-time has a positive effect on your mental health and working capabilities.
- Different amounts of me-time will confer different types of benefits for you.
- Short and long me-time recharges us in different ways.
- High-quality me-time may take more time, but we still need short me-time sessions to stay charged and balanced in the interim.
Regardless of whether you’re blocking out an entire Sunday for relaxing or setting aside 15 minutes every day for me-time, it’s a good idea to get it all sorted out in advance – so that you can focus on relaxing when the time comes!
4. Get A Massage
Struggling with your positive thinking exercises? Declaring you could kill for a good back massage? There’s a good reason for that. Studies have shown that massages help with:
- Relaxing us in the short term
- Reducing stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine
- Alleviating long-term chronic pain
- Lowering anxiety and depression levels
- Increasing the quality and length of nighttime sleep
In other words, try scheduling a massage session as a monthly me-time ritual. It might just be exactly what your soul needs to recharge back up to full!
5. Making Cooking Me Time
Cooking is an activity that many find to be something they enjoy. Time pressures and the demand for perfection often mean that we don’t get very ambitious with what we make – which is a shame. After all, food is such a universally bonding experience and one that can be incredibly intimate, given the right circumstances.
- So instead of just ordering another round of takeout, why not try:
- Attempt overly-ambitious meal, just for the fun of it.
- Make a fresh-baked cake or pastry you saw online.
- Try out a new recipe
- Cook and experience dishes from other cultures and countries
- Try replicating a meal you had only experienced once on vacation
- Experiment and have fun with cooking and baking
Either way, the goal is to have a fun learning experience that you get to enjoy!
As studies have shown, meditation is something that’s incredibly beneficial for our psychological and physiological health. Meditation sessions, however, don’t always have to be a weekly block on your schedule. It is an activity that you may practice anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is:
- Consciously focus on inhaling and exhaling through your diaphragm
- Try mindfulness meditation by observing your thoughts as they drift through your mind
- Practice shifting into a peaceful state of mind
- Take a deep breath while waiting for the bus or sitting at your chair for work
This way, you can carve out small oases of calm no matter where and when you are. Additionally, practicing meditation in little moments like these helps you get the most out of your scheduled me-time later too!
7. Incorporate Me Time Into Chores
No one is a fan of chores. They are, after all, necessary tasks that are full of drudgery. However, you can kill two birds with a single stone and turn your tasks into me-time as well! That way, you get to enjoy yourself and do something you might like while getting your house cleaned and in order.
So – just how are you to bring both your to-do list and your me-time together? Here are some things you can do while carrying out some tasks:
- Listen to a podcast
- Play your favorite songs
- Watch your favorite show.
- Gamify your chores
8. Learn To Validate Yourself
Do you crave constant attention, messages, and plans 24/7? Are you the type of person who’s terrified of being on your own? In such a situation, the idea of alone me-time might be terrifying. This, however, may be indicative of a deeper-rooted problem – the inability to give yourself the validation you so crave.
As you can imagine, this isn’t really healthy – especially in the long run. After all, the best kind of validation comes from inside.
If you think this might just be you, you can try combating this by:
- Disconnecting yourself from all electronic devices
- Spending some time entirely alone for a while
- Take this time to tune into yourself, your needs, and wants
- Meditate, and self reflect on your actions and behavior.
- Teach yourself to give the validation you desire
9. Take A Class
For some people, quiet relaxation isn’t really their idea of a fun time. Instead, they would rather spend their me-time doing something, like picking up a new skill. If you find yourself identifying with that, consider:
- Checking out online classes
- Identify your ideal learning format
- Find an online class
- Lookup a self-guided class
- Read some technical and informational books
- Watch some videos to learn new skills and information
There are more positives associated with this than you’d think, too! Science has shown that learning, in general, is great for your brain’s health. So keep joining new classes if that works for you!
10. Consider Workouts Your Me Time
There’s no denying just how important exercise is for our physical health – and there’s plenty of studies out there to back up this fact. With that in mind, have you ever considered treating your workout time as your me-time as well?
Here are a few methods you can lay down some rules, as such:
- Inform everyone that you are not to be disturbed during your workout sessions
- Use it as an opportunity to clear your mind
- Go for a nice stroll by yourself
- Set aside a special outfit for workouts
- Start your workout session from the beginning again if you are interrupted for non-essential reasons
11. Have Cut-Offs For Responding To Emails and Finishing work
In this day and age, there can be a widespread demand and pressure from bosses and colleagues to be available 24/7. This is even more so if you are running your own business and need to create a strong, professional image.
This, of course, is not stress-free or healthy in the slightest. It results in your work bleeding over into your home and gives you no real chance to rest. The biggest way this shows up is often in the form of work correspondences via emails and messages. Just how are you supposed to cope with it all?
- Set aside a strict, limited amount of time to reply to work emails and the like – and no more
- Enforce clear limits – if your work ends at 5:30 pm, you will not be answering any more emails after that, no matter how important
- Filter your correspondences into important and unimportant messages, so you can attend to what’s immediately relevant and deal with the rest later
12. Practice Gratitude
With just how busy our schedules are these days, it’s likely that you’ll struggle to find some me-time – much less engage in activities that make you happy. So, just what else can you do?
The answer? Gratitude. Studies have shown that spending two minutes or so to appreciate the blessings you have helps with:
- Developing social support
- Centering and grounding one’s mind
- Increasing energy levels
- Elevating positive self-esteem feelings
- Fortifying one’s immune system
- Reducing stress and depression
- Sustaining one’s mental and emotional psyche
- Heightening one’s intelligence
It’s not very hard to practice gratitude. Just spend a few minutes to give thanks for what blessings you have in your life over your coffee or while doing morning yoga, and you’re set for the day!
Me time is extremely important for physical and mental wellbeing. It enables you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the world and focus on someone who genuinely really matters – you!
It can sound a little cliche, but taking time for yourself and for self-care can make a huge difference in daily stress levels, anxiety and depression symptoms, and even things like productivity and concentration. As such, make sure you don’t neglect those needs in your everyday life!