Health & Wellness Articles

8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List

Finding Time for ''Me'' Time

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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 Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at www.EnerGcoaching.com.

Member Comments

  • A great read. My goal for the new year is to plan food/meals for the week so I am not running to the market every day, as mentioned here. It is time consuming, expensive and annoying!
    - 12/21/2013 8:47:44 AM
  • I have time for myself my problem is my health I am in much pain for the most port of the day which causes me to be depressed and some what overwhelmed . I have gone to many Drs. but no one can decide including me what do I need to do. The worst thing bills are beginning to pile up As I try to deal with the pain I can see that as the time goes by the pain is increasing , meaning I notice is getting more difficult for me to do exercise. I have to wait sometimes up to 3 days before I feel good enough for me to attempt to do any kind of exercise. After dealing with this for a long time I feel I am at the point of calling it quits I don't know what else to do.. I seat down a lot and I don't like it , I really need some other kind of help, I don't know what to do . I hope somebody can read this and give me some ideas . - 11/3/2013 10:50:06 PM
  • NATURELADY101
    This is a great read...just what I need to be reminded of on a regular basis. No 'me' time tends to equate to not feeling like I deserve...is linked to being depressed...is linked to further not taking care of myself...How can I bookmark this article so I can come back to it on some kind of regular basis? - 10/25/2013 9:27:04 AM
  • Needed to read this. I've always had a hard time putting self-care in my day, and I'm realizing how vital it is. - 9/7/2013 3:46:22 AM
  • Just the reminder I needed today. - 9/6/2013 5:59:00 PM
  • CREATIVEMUM
    A great article, but I agree with a previous comment that it is odd to sacrifice 45 minutes of your own sleep for your me time. I'm a single parent with a toddler and I love routine, but it's only sometimes possible. You gotta roll with the punches, and accept you can't always get everything done. You definitely have to prioritise 'essential' and 'desirable' tasks, and make 20 minutes of 'me time' an essential task. For me, it's not the same time every day, but it's when my toddler has a nap. I do the 'me time' first so I can be extra recharged to do the rest. You also have to relax your standards or you will never enjoy your me time. For example, being a single parent you may not have had a chance to shower that day or your hair may need washing etc. You may need to let these go in order to have your me time, otherwise your toddler's nap time may be used up with these tasks by the time they wake up. I've had to learn to accept myself, unwashed hair and all, and still love my me time and be able to enjoy it. - 3/12/2013 3:39:03 AM
  • Great thoughts on self-care. Setting aside "me time" has been vital in preventing burnout and eliminating stress and has really brought me back to life! Thank you for the encouragement and the great ideas. We all need regular rest time and self-care to recharge. It's as necessary as sleeping and breathing. I've also struggled with feelings of guilt about downtime (comes from years of working and living in a culture that pounded 24/7 work into my brain). But I've realized that anyone who genuinely cares about me would not deprive me of my self-care time; in fact, they would encourage it. And while I'm not denying there can be naysayers (who need self-care time too!), most of the guilty thoughts come from our own minds anyway. I'm blessed now to have a boss that requires me to take a certain amount of time off for rest and self-care, and if she finds me in the office during that time ... I'm in "trouble"!! :) What a blessing and I am thankful!! - 11/11/2012 7:34:17 AM
  • PINKVAPOR1965
    lol typing ot fast love ourself - 9/2/2012 9:29:46 AM
  • PINKVAPOR1965
    thank you yes we must love ourslef enough to love ourslef - 9/2/2012 8:41:12 AM
  • the article is nice, in just telling you that you need that me time, each and everyone. It s much harder when you become a mum, suddenly everything is spinning around :)

    Towards the end I was astonished to read the writer decided to wake 45 m earlier in the day to have that me time... I m sorry but sacrificing 45 m from my sleep doesn't seem to make sense to me, especially when the sleep patterns are irregular with a toddler in the house. - 9/2/2012 5:39:33 AM
  • Me time is like brushing teeth-- you just do it. no excuses! - 9/2/2012 12:16:58 AM
  • Right now I have just landed so much 'me' time that I feel like I am living in luxury! Living alone in a cute place that I love has got to be one of the most liberating things in life ... I am savouring every minute and am fully focused on my personal goals ... thank goodness for SP to keep me on track! - 8/24/2012 6:52:42 PM
  • I love my alone time. I just want to accomplish more from it.

    I would have liked more expansion to the part of exercise as me time. I will have to do a search on it. - 6/13/2012 10:03:57 PM
  • It is always good to remind us to take time for ourself. - 4/17/2012 10:56:57 PM
  • I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that me time with coffee in the morning and no one talking to me or other distractions. Thank you - 2/2/2012 9:20:20 PM