I call it craft time or writing time or cooking time or spa time or movie time or book time or sit next to my cat and binge Netflix time, but all the same it is what it is: Me Time. It is time that I dedicate all to me, something that I like to do by myself, for myself, and for the gain of no one else except for myself (sort of).
Now, I am an unmarried, female who lives alone (-ish, kitty counts), so getting some alone time isn’t that great of a feat for me. When someone asks if I have plans on my “Me Time” nights my answer is a well resounded “YES!”, because date night with just me (and some cameos of my cat) is a huge contributor to my overall mental and emotional health.
This is all speaking from the perspective of someone who has established
(more like discovered after many “lonely” nights in my first apartment on my own) that alone time is something that is important to my mental and emotional health. Before I had the chance to live alone, I was a lot more dependent upon the company of another person just coexisting in the same room who I could talk to occasionally while doing a task that really couldn’t even enable conversation.
Today, I flourish in my “me time”! Reading and writing are two of my favorite “me time” activities. There is nothing more satisfying to me than taking a night to myself and throwing myself into another imaginary world with fascinating characters or enriching my mind with new-found knowledge regarding a contemplative subject. Well, writing is actually more satisfying to me on nights when I need to let my creativity fly! My job isn’t one that truly fosters creativity in the bunnies and rainbows sense that I need, so sitting down and writing about my life’s experiences and how I manifest the amazing life I have really satisfies my creative cravings. Using my imagination is my top, non-active, indoor “me time” activity.
Earlier, there was a little bit of a caveat that I threw out there: for the gain of no one else except for myself (sort of). That mental and emotional health that I mentioned ? My “me time” is a huge contributor to my ability to act as a civil, and even compassionate, human being once I am surrounded by coworkers each and every work day. At work I don’t get to pick and choose when I can use my time to care for my own well-being or pick and choose when I want to interact with someone who may not be my favorite person on any given day… But, my home time, the time that I have when I am not working for “the man” (or woman, no sexism here), I can choose whether or not to use that time dedicated to others or dedicated to me.
For those of you with a roommate, cohabitating significant other, spouse, and those with children, this is not going to be easy: you are going to have to fight for “Me Time”. I get that. Some days are harder than others to carve out a spot for yourself, but whether it be right before bed or right when you wake up, taking at least 15 to 20 minutes out of your day just for yourself will actually help you care for the people around you that you are looking to care for!
A very important “me time” ritual that I have come to depend on is my Gratitude Journal. Almost every night (I’m not going to say every night, because I’m the last person who wants to project unrealistic standards that I can’t even reach) I take some time to thank God for the beauty in my life. I take around 15-20 minutes and literally write about things that happened in my day that made me feel blessed. I get to reflect on all of the good things that continually flood my life with gladness. What isn’t wonderful about that?
Now, that’s how I do it. If you’re not into God or into religion, just taking the time to write out things that you’re grateful for can significantly improve your overall well-being and your outlook on the world. I can say this as a case-study myself. There are other psychological studies that have found that practicing gratitude can improve wellness in many areas! Some of the ways that gratitude can improve your life have been compiled into a handy, little list that can be found here.
So, whether it is crafting, reading, watching a weird indie horror film, listening to the new album from the artist that you’ve discovered, or just making a list of a few things that made today a grand day: take some “me time”. Because, in reality, your “me time” is not just about you, it’s about you and your relationship with your world.
Today, take some time to say thank you and be grateful.