You may have noticed I’ve been missing from our little online community for a few months. I’ll be honest – I took an extended self-care break. My schedule for the last 3 months consisted of having only FOUR hours of personal, no-obligation time a week! For my personal health, I decided I needed to take that time for me and me alone, instead of dedicating that time to the blog.
For that, I am so sorry to have been absent but also… not sorry at all! Me-time is such an important thing for our health! Not only does it provide a needed mental break but also allows your emotions and your body to recover from the go-go-go of life.
With life always go-go-going, it can be hard to work me-time into your schedule. Most people can go days, weeks, months without even thinking about taking some time for themselves if they don’t consciously make an effort to do it.
I know. It’s hard. But even taking small steps towards a self-care routine can make a big difference to your spirit. Here are four ways you can take small steps to incorporate me-time into your schedule!
Wake up 30min early or go to sleep 30min later
Me personally? I choose the latter. I don’t think I could wake up early even if it gave me a flawless complexion and dropped 10lbs. I like to spend this time technology-free doing some meditation, quick peaceful yoga, or even just reading. Doing this before bed not only gives you a moment of serenity, but it will also improve your quality of sleep – and who couldn’t use some better sleep??
If you do want to choose the wake-up early option, just setting your alarm 30min earlier and laying in bed with some silent meditation could be a very powerful form of me-time. Some of my best, most productive days start this way. You could also use this time to make yourself a real, healthy, full breakfast instead of your usual cereal or bagel to-go. When I do rarely manage to get up early, I like to get in some sort of exercise to get the body moving.
Take advantage of drive time
It’s estimated that we, as humans, spend an average of 37,935 hours driving in our lifetime. That actually hurt to type. That’s 37,935 hours of giving in to road rage, loathing the traffic you’re in, or if you’re like me, letting your mind race a mile a minute about all the things you need to get done. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use that time productively? Improving your mind and spirit? I think so too!
The easiest way to do this is to meditate in the car. No, of course not full closed-eye, clear mind meditation – please stay focused on the road! But practicing mindful breathing and positive thoughts can do wonders when you’re already stuck in a car alone. If that doesn’t work for you, find an enriching podcast instead of flipping through radio stations.
Might as well take the time to fill your mind with powerful thoughts!
Treat yo’ self
Pampering yourself is the number one most obvious form of self-care, and for good reason. How much of your day do you spend catering to other people? Whether it be at your job, in your family, a significant other or for your friends. These days it seems like there’s almost a stigma against people caring about themselves. It’s important to remember that you are the most important person in your life!
So what do you like to do when you have no obligations to anyone else? Grab a coffee or tea and just enjoy it instead of waiting for the caffeine to kick in. Head to the shops and buy a new shirt or some shoes – hit up the thrift store and get something interesting for yourself that speaks to you. Spend a night in by yourself with your hair up in sweats watching that cheesy movie no one else likes. Get a kooky-colored, amazing-smelling bath bomb and just soak! There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing yourself a little appreciation.
Spend time with nature
Nature, Nature, Nature. Sun, Breeze, Birds! I will never stop preaching the power of nature. In my humble opinion, everyone should find some time to be outside every single day. Get away from the screens and the people and the news. Sit outside and just think about the great planet we live on, how it provides for us, and how connected everything is.
Spending time outside has been proven to positively affect your health. It can help reduce stress, increase endorphins (the happy chemical), balance your emotions, and even lower blood pressure! If that is not considered self-care then I don’t know what is.
Whether you have an overbearing schedule or not, what it comes down to is that you need to find something that works for you. It’s called me-time after all!