Making Time for Me
Last 30before30 post that I did had to do with stubbornness and not letting yourself waste your own time. (I don’t know if that was grammatically correct but you know what I’m saying.) This one is another post about time, but instead of making sure you’re not wasting it, I’m advising that you set some aside for yourself. So something I learned, albeit a little more recently than I’d like to admit, is to make time for YOU, “Me time.”
What is Me time?
But what does that mean? We have time everyday for ourselves. We wake up and brush our teeth and make sure our grooming habits are taken care of and then we drive to work or make breakfast for the kids or any numerous ways we start our day. But I wouldn’t call that making time for ourselves, I would call that doing the bare minimum to stay sane. No, I’ve realized that when I’m overworking myself or stressed out or just need a day to myself, that I should take it.
Does this mean that I blow off my responsibilities for the day? Of course not. But I do map out time in that day that I’m feeling like I need me time, or the next day to make sure I’m not spreading myself too thin. This is kind of a multi faceted lesson I’ve learned, so bear with me.
How I Make Time
This may seem like a silly topic, how do you make time? You just do it, right? But for others that may sound easier than it is. There are obligations and other people to take care of, such as children or family members. So speaking from my own experience (not married, no children) I make sure that those around me (boyfriend, family, coworkers/associates) know that I’m stepping away for a moment or a few hours. That may be that I just am not available through text message, but if something important should arise I’ll be accessible through phone call.
Thankfully my boyfriend is very understanding and needing of his own “me” time so that space is always freely given. Coworkers/associates are a little bit more of an issue, so muting them is always an option. I’m definitely a workaholic so sometimes those boundaries can be skewed, but this year having that “work-life balance” is something I’ve made a priority. I’ve seen a few posts lately about how work-life isn’t a real thing or how its baloney but I think it’s all in how you manage your own life.
I also make sure I have no obligations or commitments that I can’t break. If there’s a date night that we’ve been rescheduling left and right because of other things that come up, then I’m not going to reschedule it again (personal preference.) (Most) people understand mental health days, and if they don’t then cut them out.
Actually Enjoying the Time
As someone that can get into my own head, I worry a lot about nonsense. Like when I’m having some me time, should I be using that time more productively. Sometimes my me time does involve me writing or designing or trying to further my blog in some way. Other times it’s me binging a book series or Netflix rerun on my couch eating white cheddar popcorn. Neither one of these is right and neither one of these is wrong; it’s just what I’m feeling in that moment that I need the most. I think the things that distract me most from my me time is chores that need to be done. Sometimes I’ll load the dishwasher and clean up the kitty litter that’s strewn across the bathroom floor before I begin to relax. Other times I’ll let those things sit there because they are not things that serve my relaxation that day.
Usually when I leave work and I know I don’t have anything else to do that night, I’ll get something special for dinner or even just something basic that I like so that I know I won’t have to leave the house for the evening. I also really like soda/something flavored besides water and I usually get a craving for something in the evening so I’ll pick that up as well. It’s so simple but a bottle of A&W root beer or cherry limeade can really be a mood booster for me. I know I’m going to have a good evening if I pick that up on the way home. Kind of silly I guess.
I could probably write a whole book on the guilt trips that I put myself through on a daily basis. That sounds a bit neurotic, but I tend to overthink a lot of things. I’ve mentioned before feeling like I should be using time in more productive ways. But the amount of guilt I felt about it when I first started mapping out time for myself was almost unbearable. I would feel a suffocating amount of pressure on my chest and then I couldn’t even enjoy myself or think straight to be productive, very counterintuitive if I do say so.
So how did I get over it? I haven’t successfully managed that 100% but here what I do: I get two days off a week so usually I’ll plan one to be a productive day and one to be a “me” day. Since I already have this scheduled then I feel less guilt about it. I know that even on the days I work I have productive moments which helps with the guilt. I have another post planned for my 30before30 about this, but let me tell you I’m defiantly a work in progress. And that’s okay.
What are some guilt coping methods that you use? I think that separating my days like that is probably my most helpful but I’m always up for suggestions!