By Reem Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah
When I was younger I seemed to really understand the concept of ‘me-time’ and I used to enjoy it, a lot. As I grew older, I noticed that I was reducing my ‘me-time’ because I was always in a rush and always had something to do. I eventually realised how much that made me lose my balance. Alone time is crucial for your physical and mental health and I hope you already practice the act of spending time with yourself, but if you don’t, then I really hope you realise the value of it and start by the end of this article.
The key to benefiting from ‘me-time’ is that you have to want that alone time. Solitude, or being alone is commonly associated with negative vibes or even used as a form of punishment with kids, but this only blocks the benefits of enjoying that time alone.
Studies show that people perform better in privacy, therefore are more likely to be more productive. They also show that a people who takes time for themselves are more likely to be happier, have better life satisfaction, and manage stress in a better manner. In general, a person who enjoys ‘me-time’ is less likely to be depressed.
Time alone gives your mind a chance to wander and think about different things. You are allowed to think about anything and are not restricted by any other human distractions. Some people become more creative when alone and need that ‘solitude’ to be able to work effectively. Being alone and away from most distractions allow you to think about your own life and self-reflect, to check your current situation, re-evaluate and make those developmental decisions and changes. You are also able to go deep into your own mind, make decisions without external distractions and even dive deep into yourself and learn more about you. This promotes self-healing and self-maintenance and might be intimidating to a person, leading them to limit their alone time. Nonetheless, always remember that the healthy practice of being alone also helps improve sleep, enhance relationships and reduce mental and physical stress.
Studies also show that kids who learn to appreciate ‘me-time’ on their own grow up to be better behaved children. Therefore, it is critical to be a role model to the children around you and to show them how you may practice your ‘you-time’ and simultaneously appreciate it. Showing them how you take five minutes to focus on your breathing is a good option to have them observe and appreciate that simple, yet necessary time for yourself. As a parent, or actually, as a human, you need to recharge, recover, reboot or prevent burnouts from time to time and spending time with only yourself away from all distractions can be the perfect solution. Studies show that our bodies have a natural craving for solitude but that we might mistake it for anxiety, stress or even exhaustion, so start healing yourself and make that time for you! Just think about it…freedom to be away from other eyes watching you, freedom from having to please others and freedom from the social obligation of interacting with people…what’s your mind may really need.
What should you do? It could be the bare minimum of five minutes, ten minutes a day or it could be 20-30 minutes a week, just make sure to take that time for yourself, make it all about you and make sure you know you’re willingly and purposely engaging in it because you enjoy it. Then, try to develop another monthly routine where you take either a few hours or maybe even a full day for yourself. Here are a few guidelines to help you practice ‘me-time’:
1- Stay away from your phone.
2- Get up 10-15 minutes earlier .
3- Take advantage of opportunities when you are alone to really be alone.
4- Make sure you book the necessary time in your weekly schedule.
5- Breathe, watch and focus on your breathing continuously.
6- Stretch and breathe, focus on each body part as you stretch it
7- Don’t let potential distractions steer you away from your schedule “you time”
It might feel awkward at first, but learning to enjoy time with yourself could be the key to your balance.
The author is a wellness advocate and influencer @keys2balance.
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