Health & Wellness Articles

8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List

Finding Time for ''Me'' Time

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By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach         
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How often have you found yourself thinking or saying the following?

"I wish I had more time for myself."

"I'm so busy! I don't have a moment to breathe."

"I need more hours in the day."

"I don't have time for that."

We lead crazy, busy lives. And the one thing we never seem to have time for is ourselves. This problem seems even more pervasive as we work harder to meet the challenges of this new economy.

Creating more personal time tops the list of goals many people want to accomplish. With work time, partner or family time and social time all demanding our attention, we are constantly juggling our day-to-day responsibilities. Finding as little as 15-30 minutes a day of uninterrupted, relaxing "me" time is challenging at best.

But we all instinctively know that when we take time for ourselves to pursue our passions, do the things that we enjoy, relax or even do nothing at all, we end up happier, healthier and feeling better. "Me" time allows us to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. Taking time for yourself allows you to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace.

When I ask my clients why they don't plan more "me" time in their schedules, three common themes arise: not enough time, feeling guilty, or it feels selfish. The more giving and caring a person you are, the more these feelings seem to emerge.

Remember that no matter what we do, there are only 24 hours in a day, so you can't create more time. But you can clear some time by reevaluating priorities, perhaps saying "no" more often and practicing smart time management.

"Me" time is not something you should feel guilty about. It's nothing more than taking some time to put aside your everyday business and treating yourself to an activity that you enjoy. It gives you an opportunity to relax, refocus and recharge. And when you do that, you can come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.

It is very common to become so involved in giving to others that we fail to give to ourselves. And although this is more often a trait in women, there are plenty of men out there who feel this way too. Many are so caught up in earning a living to take care of their families, that breaking away from responsibilities to indulge in hobbies, reading or hanging out with the guys makes them feel selfish.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EllenG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a certified professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at http://www.ellengcoaching.com/. Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at www.endtheweightlossbattle.com.

Member Comments

  • I "plan to plan" all the evening meals for next week over the weekend! - 3/30/2016 3:48:46 PM
  • I probably do need to find more "me" time but when it takes away from those in my life who need care, it is really difficult for me. I am a caregiver in my home (by choice) because I don't want to put family members in an institution until I have to! I grab a few minutes whenever I can but still have to prioritize the needs of other people! - 3/27/2016 9:42:45 AM
  • MAKPAD2002
    A great read. Just what i needed as a wakeup call. I tend get lost in chores as a mother and a busy doctor that i forget i too am an important person in my life. Thanks. - 2/13/2016 2:21:58 AM
  • I try to wake a full hour before the rest of the house, defiantly a good way to get some alone time in. - 12/27/2015 9:41:15 PM
  • I am SO absolutely worth it! - 12/3/2015 1:52:49 PM
  • Great read - 11/6/2015 1:16:05 AM
  • I used to be a night owl, until I had kids (I have 4 of them, they are 8, 5, 4, and 2). Now, I totally agree with you, I get up about an hour before the kids to have my coffee and just BE before the chaos begins. It makes a world of difference in my mood and the overall feel of the day. - 10/7/2015 10:54:32 PM
  • Great article! There are periods in our lives when me time is definitely a commodity that is hard to come by. Young mothers with jobs outside the home...that is a real challenge, and I remember how hard it was. Just know that there will be times ahead when you *do* have more time, and grab what you can when you can for the time being. The one thing I would caution people about is this idea of creating more time by depriving ourselves of sleep. Whether it's for exercise or just being alone for me time, I'm not sure earning time in that way is the best solution. Getting enough sleep is critical for people with already hectic lives! - 9/16/2015 12:07:59 PM
  • My "me time" is to relax with a good book. I tend to lose myself in the pages, so working out while reading is not a good idea. - 9/15/2015 10:55:40 AM
  • MOBYMOBY
    Whenever someone says " I don't have enough time," she is really saying "I'm choosing to spend my time on other things." If we have any zest for life at all, there really is not enough time in a day to do all the things we want to do, so it's a continual prioritization between responsibilities and other things. - 4/17/2015 7:14:38 AM
  • SWIEHOFF
    I try to get up earlier than everyone to do my workout and have five minutes to relax afterwards, before getting ready for work/daycare, but usually then the baby wakes up and wants to be fed and held... Starting to think that instead of getting up an hour earlier at five, I'll have to start getting up at four instead, but that means five hours of sleep a night! - 4/17/2015 6:27:18 AM
  • My Spark time on the computer is my "Me time". - 1/7/2015 6:16:47 PM
  • My exercise time is definitely my "me time". - 11/2/2014 7:48:34 PM

  • Good examples, point taken. There are some limits I clearly need to define and somehow accept that yes sometimes it is OK to say NO. I struggle with that at work and at home. Hmmm what can I do to put things in to more balance:

    Run to the supermarket too many times per week for items we ran out of or fixin's for evening meal. I have to do the big grocery trip on the weekend, I'm definitly running to the store way to much during the week for things we run out of or fixin's for the evening meal. I hate wasting gas and having my old car do an extra 50+ mile loop back to the city but maybe it really is worth it...maybe 2x per month.

    Personal calls and text in the middle of your workday are stressing me out and taking my focus away. This needs to trim down - wish the article suggested tactful ways to suggest this to what always seems to be an emergency or reaching out for lonliness. Hmmm.

    Asking for more help with chores...maybe there is something here but partner being disabled not only do I work, cook, care for cats, laundry, take trash down, etc..there has to be something that I can think of to take off my plate here. - 10/18/2014 4:31:38 PM
  • Sometimes it is so easy to tell someone else that they can make time until you walk in their shoes. I don't get enough sleep as it is, on workdays, sometimes it is only 3-4 hours with a 12 hour night work schedule, so getting up 45 minutes early is not real an option. I live alone since the death of my husband so there is no one else to assign chores to and the barn chores still need to be done. My parents are in their late 80's and frequently need things done for them, pretty hard to say no to that. Time for me sounds good but it is going to have to wait for a few years now. - 9/7/2014 10:08:44 PM

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