The idea of needing time for myself might sound selfish and it’s probably something every mum says. The truth is though that time for myself allows me to regenerate. It’s the time when no one asks me to do anything. Where I can focus on my own wishes.
Time for myself is important to me to not lose my cool with my family and the people around me. It allows me to find joy in my life. And it gives me space to get to know myself (again).
In men’s terms, there is often the men-cave but I haven’t come across anything for women. And that doesn’t matter. The idea is the same: find time for yourself, maybe even a space, where you can be yourself without being judged.
The idea behind some time for yourself is to let go of the daily demands on ourselves. It’s a time to let the mind wander, take a breather, and maybe to think things through before acting on them.
It’s time to just be, be part of the greater world around us.
What I do for myself
My number one activity I do for myself is exercising. I usually exercise at home and although my kids are often around when I do, it gives me time to do something for myself. I love sweating, doing physical exercises especially weight training, and pushing myself.
I also have time for myself at night, once the kids are asleep and all work is done. In that time I often write, read or just watch a movie. I love that time because it’s just me.
And I don’t accept judgement in that time for the way I choose to spend my time. There are so many other things I could do but those things are what make me happy. And they are what I need at that moment.
Other ideas you could try in your me-time:
- any form of relaxation and/or exercise like yoga, pilates, Qi-gong
- a walk outside alone (or with a dog)
- a long bath, a massage or even a spa treatment
- visiting a cafe, the movie theatre, a concert, the theatre, or opera
- knitting, crocheting, quilting, or any other kind of handy work
- Baking, cooking, cake decorating for yourself
- play a sport in a team outside your family and circle of close friends
- join a theatre group, a debating team, a political party (as long as this doesn’t turn into another task you pile onto yourself)
- occasionally catch up with a long-lost friend
What I don’t do in my me-time
There are a couple of things I try to avoid in my me-time. I usually don’t read emails, respond to social media posts, or work on any task on my task list of the day. I leave those things to my normal day.
Funnily enough, I also tend to not talk to people. It’s just me!
The reason I avoid those tasks is that they make me feel restricted and sometimes judged. I don’t mean that in a bad way but it’s important for me to just focus on myself and how I feel.
How I get time for myself
Although I could easily say that I just take time for myself by announcing it to my family. The truth is however that I also have to remind myself.
I often schedule my time to exercise as the first thing in the morning and the writing, book reading or movie watching as the last thing at night. It’s important to have this schedule to remind myself and everyone around me that nothing else is going to happen in that slot.
The scheduling helps me to remember. Although there are occasions where I don’t make it or can’t do it, I try to stick with it. In fact, I even have my writing hour as an event in my personal calendar.
I find it helpful to have the time for myself set up regularly. For me it’s a daily thing, for you, it might be weekly. The trick is to have it set and not to move, or even question the time for yourself. It’s going to happen, and everyone else (and you!) have to deal with it.