We welcome back Caroline who is a health and wellness enthusiast, and an avid blogger. When she’s not writing about solutions for better wellbeing, she’s reading the latest studies about mental health, or catching up with her own fitness regime at the gym. Caroline also enjoys spending some time by herself each day to meditate, relax, and sip on a nice cup of coffee!
The Power of Me Time
In the fast-paced world that we live in today, it’s tempting to feel as though we all have to be moving forward at break-neck speed. We convince ourselves that if we’re not working, or putting our energy into personal projects, then we’re simply “wasting” time. However, there’s nothing wasteful about taking a little time out of your schedule to care for yourself.
According to research, “Me Time” can actually have a lot of benefits for your mental and physical health. After all, while relentlessly pushing yourself to do more each day might make you more productive at first, it can cost you a lot more than you’d think in the end.
The health effects of pushing yourself too far too often can range all the way from issues with migraines and stress, to an increased risk of depression, and lessened immune function.
On the other hand, the more you look after yourself, the more you create a healthy and sustainable foundation for progress in your professional and personal life. Here are just some of the reasons why we should all embrace the power of “Me Time.”
1. You’ll Be Able to De-Compress and Re-Focus
We weren’t designed to be all go, all the time. Your body is made up of countless muscles and structures operating on one simple fuel – energy. When you run out of energy, your system is left with nothing but dregs to use to power everything from your legs, to your brain. Obviously, this isn’t the ideal way to become the most productive and focused version of yourself.
Having more “me time” allows you to recuperate and refuel throughout the day. For instance, when you convince yourself to stop every few hours for a breath of fresh air or a cup of freshly brewed coffee, you replenish the supplies you’ve already used up to complete tasks up until that point. While you’re waiting for the caffeine to kick in from your coffee, and the antioxidants to clear out your system, you’ll also be absorbing fresh air, and giving your brain an important period of rest.
2. You’ll Be More Productive
Have you ever pushed yourself so hard, at work, or in your personal life, that you stop being able to think clearly? Your mind gets frazzled and you feel so overwhelmed that every small problem you face seems like an astronomical challenge. There’s a reason for this. When you push yourself to do too much, you stretch your mind and body beyond its regular limits. It’s like lifting a set of weights that are too heavy for you – not only are you more likely to end up with an injury but afterward the muscles you tried to use feel painful and worn out.
Committing yourself to regular me-time helps to break your tasks up into more manageable chunks.
That means that instead of trying to pick up a huge stack of weights at once, you lift one, move it, and then rest between each new challenge. The result? Less time dragging your feet and waiting to recover, and more time actually getting things done.
3. You’ll Remember What Matters Most
When we rush around trying to get everything done at once, it’s easy to lose track of what’s really important. The human brain can only focus on so much at any given time. If you’re constantly worrying about deadlines at work, impressing your boss, and making sure that you excel on your new client project, other things are sure to fall between the gaps.
Taking some time out to drink a cup of coffee with friends or re-connect with your family allows you to restructure your time and get your priorities in check.
Not only does “me time” help you to remember how valuable your relationships are, but it could also help to preserve those relationships too. As your “me-time” helps you to de-stress, you’ll find that you’re much more fun to be around. It can often be difficult for people to thrive around someone who’s a constant beacon of anxiety.
4. You’ll Get to Know (and Love) Yourself
Finally, when you ignore “me time” for too long, you start to lose track of who you are as a person. Too much time spent chasing after goals, or appeasing other people means that when you look in the mirror each day, you’ll feel less familiar with the person staring back at you.
Having me time teaches you important things about yourself, and your abilities that you might never have learned otherwise.
You get a bird’s eye view of what you’re like as a person, and you may even begin to notice things that you want to change about your attitude or approach to life. When you’re not caught up rushing between different parts of your life, you can sieve through your thoughts more carefully and make sense of what’s really going on inside your mind. This level of mindfulness can also make it easier for you to handle challenges and overcome stress in the future.
5. You’ll Be A Healthier Person
Finally, the most important reason why we all need “me time” is that our health demands it. You’re not a machine, which means that you can’t keep going forever without resting or recuperating. Ultimately, when you ignore “me time” you don’t only push yourself further than your body can reasonably handle, you also overlook other elements of looking after yourself, like regular exercise and healthy eating too.
A life without “me time” can lead to insomnia, exhaustion, and even premature death. As dramatic as it sounds, your body can only handle being pushed too far for so long. Eventually, you’ll burn yourself out.
Scheduling More “Me Time” into Your Life
It may seem simple to add more me time to your life at first – but it’s often more complicated than you’d think. First of all, you need to give yourself the permission you need to rest – even if it’s just for a ten-minute coffee break twice a day. Once you’ve given yourself that permission, you need to commit to your new schedule.
If it helps, set an alarm that will remind you when you need to take a break each day. Your me time can take any form you like; the key is to make sure that you’re giving yourself the time you need to feel rested and rejuvenated.
Don’t you think it’s time you took care of yourself?
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).