The Wonderful Benefits of Me-Time
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
These past few months have been rather hectic. I don't particularly know why - I mean, yes, my social calendar has filled out quite a bit from a year ago, and living with my sister means that we tend to do activities together. And let's not forget the heaps of chores that come around from two people vs one.
But yesterday was a day of bliss for me. I got off work and headed to a coffee shop to read - like I used to do 6 months to a year ago. And then I casually went to dinner, followed by lazily coming home, gearing up for a run at the gym. After a nice run and a good sweat, I came home and took a bubble bath, something, again, I can't remember when I last did. And then my sister and I spent the remainder of the evening watching Netflix while I knit.
I am an introvert. I need Me-Time. But this world is geared towards the extrovert, the person who gets her energy by being around others, by being social and active. (This is not to say I hate being social and active. I actually LIKE being social and active, and this year, I've had the chance to be way more social and active than I ever have been before.)
I started out my year reading the fantastic book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. I had always identified as an introvert, but I had never read about how to USE my nature to my benefit. I guess I thought it was a crutch, a "disability" that I had to overcome. But a fellow introvert and friend recommended this book to me, and it opened my eyes.
Instead of seeing my introversion as a "disability", it was a gift. Instead of seeing my personality as a problem, it was a promise. Instead of retreating into myself, I learned how to use my introversion to the best ability, to note how to adapt to the extroverted world and social life.
This is probably why this year has been one of the best of my life. (Though, come on, losing a person and running in 2X 5K's is ALSO a good reason!!) I have really come out of my shell at work - something my boss is constantly affirming and congratulating me on. I've made meeting with friends more of a priority. And I am eager to try new things, instead of hiding behind my mother's skirts.
But one thing I still need to do is this: Me-Time. I need to schedule Me-Time in my day/week. I get very crabby if I don't have time to read or do things by myself. I know that's why I get snippy with my sister. I know that's why I lose patience and feel overwhelmed. But life goes at that ridiculously fast pace and suddenly a month has gone by and I've barely had a chance to breathe.
I think Me-Time is important for even extroverts. Me-Time is time you can spend just thinking about YOU. No one else. YOU do what YOU want - whether it is meditation, reading, running, etc. It's rejuvenating and invigorating in its own unique way.
Ideally, I would schedule Me-Time every day, and I do get some time throughout the day by myself. But I think an evening or a weekend of Me-Time is really good to have either weekly or monthly - and I hope that starting this month and going into next year, I can integrate more Me-Time into my life.