Scheduling 'me' time: Tips for self-care
Scheduling “me time” used to be a luxury for those who could afford it—now it’s a necessity for everyone.
With the constant stress of daily life between work, home and everything in between, it’s gotten harder and harder to find time to focus on ourselves. And it doesn’t help that we seem to constantly be on the go and need to be productive during every waking hour.
That’s why it’s important to schedule time in your day—even if it’s just 15 or 20 minutes—with no distractions, to calm the world inside your mind. Those few minutes can help you feel more grounded and enable you to shut off outside distractions. Calming your mind from outside noise will help you feel better mentally and physically and will help shape how you react to the world around you.
In this article, we dive into why self-care is important and provide tips to help you get started.
The importance of ‘me time’
“Me time” can sometimes be misconstrued as someone being selfish by putting their needs first. But the last several years have shown us that this is actually something everyone needs to schedule into their busy lives. “Me time” isn’t selfish—it’s a necessity for mental health.
Taking “me time” can help you gain better focus. It’s an opportunity for you to concentrate on you and your needs without worrying about everything else around you. When you take time to focus on relaxing your mind, you’ll be able to get back to the grind with a fresh perspective.
Additionally, you’re giving yourself the chance to recharge your mind and body. You’re focusing on what you need for yourself outside of work, family or any other external factors. It’s taking time to tackle your own to-do list that has nothing to do with anyone else. Things like finally finishing that book, starting that new blog or jumping on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes—it’s all about you.
Scheduling time for yourself can be hard, but it’s important. It should become a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It’s good for your mind and your body, and it’s good for those around you. Here are some ideas to help you start making self-care a part of your daily routine.
8 tips for self-care
We know that it can be hard to take time to focus on yourself, and you may not know exactly where to begin. That’s why we’ve curated these eight tips to help you on your way.
Schedule time on your calendar. Don’t rely on, “Oh, I’ll get to it,” when it comes to self-care. Literally schedule time on your calendar, whether it’s 10 minutes before you get up for the day or 20 minutes before bedtime.
Take the time. We know how easy it is to dismiss the reminder for self-care. But it’s on your calendar and you’ve scheduled life around it, so take the few minutes to unplug and focus on you.
Learn to say no. If you don’t have time to take on extra tasks at work or at home, it’s okay to say no. Taking on too much will eat into your “me time,” and your mental health may suffer.
Get plenty of sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for self-care. Lack of sleep can make you irritable and cause brain fog. And while you aim to get enough sleep (seven to nine hours is recommended), also make sure you’re getting quality sleep (avoid all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime).
Get some exercise. You’ve heard that exercise increases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, right? Well, it’s true. Even just a 10-minute walk can increase serotonin, which is good for both your body and mind.
Find a new hobby. Or make time for the hobbies you love. Whether it’s knitting, collecting baseball cards, creating crafts or taking up golf, spending time doing something you love gives you something to look forward to.
Nourish your body. What you put into your body can make a difference, and so does eating regularly. We know all about "hangry” feelings when meals are missed. Take time to eat nutritious food and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Get outside. Make time to get outside at least once a day, especially if you work from home. Soak up some vitamin D on a sunny day or enjoy some time sitting on the porch and listening to the calming sounds on a rainy day.
Get started today
The first step is always the hardest. But remember that scheduling time for yourself is important. Even on airplanes, you’re supposed to put your oxygen mask on before helping others. It works the same way with self-care: You have to take care of yourself first. When the chaos of the world is tumbling down around you, put on that oxygen mask and take a deep breath.