By: Jennifer McArver (Reichek)
Life is so busy, between work, commitments, parenting, being a spouse, a friend, and a parent, it’s easy to look up and wonder where the time has gone. Maybe you’re like the millions of people that get so stressed out with the “go-go-go lifestyle” that you look up and find yourself miserable and unfulfilled. Sound familiar? That’s why “me time” is so important; me-time rejuvenates, reinvigorates and renews the spirit. It’s simple, we can’t give our best to others if we simply don’t have it to give. That’s why I make sure that I always create “me-time” every day and you should too; it keeps us full of life and able to share our joy and passion with the world.
Why “me time” is important!
Who we are as individuals is an important part of what makes us special; we are creators, we are inspirers… we are all people just trying to figure life out for each stage that we are in. When we lose sight of our passions, our joys, or our reasons for being, we are not only costing our loved ones, coworkers and friends, but most importantly ourselves. As I mentioned above, “me time” rejuvenates the soul. “Me time” is that little bit of time you carve out of your schedule each day and/or week that is solely focused on what makes you happy. After all, being happy is instrumentally important to attract any kind of success. When you feel happy, you walk with your head held a little higher, have a more pep in your step and you conduct yourself in a kinder manner. Happiness is the key to life that every single person on this planet is searching for. Carving out this special time creates balance in your life. In today’s society, we operate in a consistent “go-go-go” manner. Trust me, from the perspective of a bodybuilder, it’s a constant hustle and bustle to get from one responsibility to the next. Maybe you’re a mom and you go from work to soccer practice, to ballet practice, and then have to get dinner made and get everybody ready for tomorrow. Or, maybe you hold a high ranking position at your job, you’re constantly having to keep your skills sharp, make sure you’re on your “A-game”, and always one step ahead of every competitor. Whatever the case might be, it’s stressful! “Me-time” relieves some of the stress of life. We all know the research about stress and the effects that it has on our health… not good. That’s why I can’t stress enough, how important “me- time” is; put simply, this time helps alleviate stress.
How to create me time
Creating “me-time” can be difficult, but starting and more importantly, sticking to this allotted time requires dedication to yourself. Like I said, life is busy, if we don’t plan, and stick to the scheduled “me time”, it will quickly become an idea of the past. We have to know our limits. As one of my “sisters” so eloquently puts it, I’m “a yes girl”. A “yes girl” is that person that says “yes” to everything; want to hang out, yes; want to help me move, yes; want to babysit my kids, sure. Being a yes girl or a people pleaser can create a big “problem”. We have to understand that it’s not only ok to say no, it’s required. We simply can’t do everything and please everyone all the time. We have to understand the concept that we can’t give what we don’t have. If we are constantly giving to others, we will be left with nothing for ourselves and nothing to give others. That is why understanding the concept of “no” is so important. Although sometimes we may want to say yes, it is vital to our overall sense of well-being to say no. Now that we understand the importance of no, we can create an allocated “me-time” time. “Me-Time” can be daily, weekly and/or monthly. For example, my daily “me-time” is my drive to work, which used to be a source of stress in my life because I was always in a rush; I needed to get where I was going. The problem with this is that when I finally got there, I was so stressed and worked up over my drive, I wasn’t myself anymore; I was a bundle of frustrated energy! I decided that there had to be a better way. I was miserable, so I turned this time into a positive experience. Now, I look forward to my morning commute; I changed my morning routines which changed my state of mind. If this sounds like you, try waking up a little earlier and do what I did. I now also allocate 10-15 minutes each morning when my mind is calm to meditate, then I get ready for work. On my commute, I changed my stressed out driving into my worship time. This change in routine has been life changing, I feel the difference, my spirit is renewed and I am chipper and a joy to be around (I’m sure my coworkers are much happier seeing me too). Creating this time for myself rejuvenates me; I can give my joy and passion to others. A weekly me time suggestion that I utilize is my church time; your me time is anything that you enjoy, maybe it’s getting your nails done, maybe it’s a hike in your favorite park. Whatever it is, it just needs to be your alone time to rejuvenate your spirit and bring peace to your soul.
When we invest in ourselves through the elimination of distractions and reinforcement of fulfilling activities, this allows us to achieve balance in our busy lives. Start small in developing your new routines; after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Small changes add up to big improvements in our lives. Fill yourself up. When we do this, we can find the energy, strength, and attitude to reinvest in others.