For a self-proclaimed introvert, I spend an obscene amount of time with other people. I kind of have to, and it can be completely draining. You know that feeling I’m talking about; the one where you just want to hide, and not talk to anybody for just five minutes. That’s all you’re asking for, just five minutes.
I used to have that feeling a lot. At least once a day. But, as I got older, I figured out that if I scheduled some me time each week, I didn’t get that feeling as often, and I was able to get more accomplished.
Now, you may think that scheduling me time is a little crazy, but, with my schedule, I have to. If I don’t, I’ll think up a million other things that have to get done right that second and put me time off until I forget about it and then have a moment in the middle of a meeting where I’m about to start climbing the walls if I have to talk to one more person. So blocking off time during the week when I know I can just go home and decompress works for me.
Me time can be spent doing anything you enjoy. You could bake cupcakes, read a book, take a bubble bath, do yoga, go for a run, hunt, fish, work on your car, binge watch a show, pin an inordinate amount of things on Pinterest or anything else you enjoy. As long as you are alone and are doing this activity solely for you and for the pleasure you derive from it, it’s me time.
The most common reason people skip taking time to themselves is because they feel selfish doing so. They’re taking time away from their other responsibilities or clubs and organizations to spend time alone. And they’re right; it is selfish, and being a little selfish can be a great thing.
When you don’t spend enough time decompressing, you’re opening yourself up to a multitude of negative health effects, like heart attack, stroke, headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety…I could keep going, but you get the picture.
“The lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up resentments that can harm you and your relationships. When you spend all your time filling other people’s cups, it’s likely yours will run empty. Sometimes, especially when we’re tired, we may become angry about giving so much,” according an article on adrenalfatiguesolution.com.
Taking some time to yourself also offers you several benefits, most notably the ability to avoid all the aforementioned health effects.
Me time also gives you the opportunity to figure yourself out, according to an article on psychologytoday.com. We spend so much time with other people, and when we’re in groups, it’s really easy to get caught up in the flow of what everyone else is doing and thinking. We’re more likely to just agree with what everyone else thinks. It’s like that time you went to the movies with a group of friends and really enjoyed the movie, but everyone else hated it so you pretended it sucked so you wouldn’t stand out. Taking time to yourself makes you better able to understand your own thought processes and feelings, which will lead to more self-confidence.
Spending time alone and figuring yourself out will also help improve your relationship with others. When you know and understand yourself better, you’ll be better able to figure out what people are positive people to spend your time with and which people should have a lesser role in your life. Which will lead to just a happier life in general.
You can’t lead a happy, relatively stress free life without taking time to yourself. And really, everyone’s goal should be to work toward what makes them the happiest and most relaxed.