Health & Wellness Articles

8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List

Finding Time for ''Me'' Time

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If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being. Lack of time for ourselves often leads to feeling frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and out of balance. Without this time for ourselves, we lose sight of what's important to us.

Occasionally I am asked, "Doesn't exercise count as 'me' time?" Well the answer is yes and no. If you approach exercise as another responsibility to cross off the list, and/or get more joy when you are done vs. enjoying the actual time spent working out, you are probably getting lots of health benefits, but not the same kind you get from "me" time. Unless you walk away from your routine feeling renewed, refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the world once again, you may still need another activity that you do just for the pure joy of doing it. If, despite a regular exercise routine, you still feel overwhelmed and yearning for personal time, scheduling a few "me" time activities will do you a world of good!

Let's look at some ways you can make "me" time a reality:

First, decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day. Stop feeling guilty for taking time out for you, and realize in the long run, it's a win-win for everyone. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best to all you must accomplish. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it's a necessary dimension of self-care!

Decide how best to spend "me" time. How each of us chooses to spend free time is as individualized as we all are. If you had an extra 15 minutes, a half hour, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list and keep it handy when you begin scheduling time into your calendar.

Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check your emails constantly and end up spending more time on your computer than you planned? Do you answer personal calls in the middle of your workday? Run to the supermarket daily to pick up dinner rather than plan in advance and shop once? If this sounds like you, you must take the time to organize your responsibilities, and you will gain more free time than you can imagine.
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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


  • 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
  • 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

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