Updated: Feb 26
Carving out time for me is hard. There are a million other things I can think of doing before I take time for me. Running a household is a 24/7 hour job. The question is - can the laundry, cooking, vacuuming and putting away dishes wait? My first response is usually no. I'm the kind of person that likes things all done and orderly. However, when I ONLY put these things first and dismiss time for me to refuel I get grouchy and disconnected. When I put me first and get
my exercise, nap or social time with a friend I'm so, so much happier and have much more to give others around me (namely my family).
People often ask me if I take time out for myself because I have two special needs kids and I typically say "yes". But the accurate answer would be "sometimes". The dialogue in my head can often convince me that what I'm doing (folding laundry or scrubbing the bathroom) is putting myself first because I'll feel better afterwards. This is true- I do feel better with a tidy home and chores done but it's not really self-care - There's nothing about folding laundry that is indulgent or pampering.
One of the challenges for me with this concept of 'me time' has been that I honestly didn't know how to be indulgent with myself and/or wasn't sure how to spend free time. I'm 49 years old and just now figuring this out. I had to ask myself questions on whether I liked to read books or magazines? Do I enjoy massages and manicures or does it feel more indulgent and satisfying to go for a hike with a friend and have time to connect? I wasn't someone who automatically knew the answers to these questions - it's been a process. For someone like me, an extrovert, at first me-time sounded lonely and isolating however, as I've practiced and contemplated this concept, I've learned that there's a balance time with me as a restorative time and then time for me that's with others (no responsibilities just enjoying others company) - both rejuevenate me and are crucial to my well-being.
How do you spend your 'you-time'?