Taking the First Steps to ME Time

Make ME Time Your New Year’s Resolution

Did you blink? If so, you probably didn’t see 2013 flash by. Where did the year go? It’s the beginning of 2014, and that means you’ve likely dutifully jotted down — or made a mental note — and committed to a set of New Year’s resolutions. Now is the perfect occasion for a little timeout from the rush of the holidays and the jumping back in to normal life that makes up the month of January. Start the New Year off with a fresh slate and indulge in some luxurious “me time.”

Making an effort to spend quality time alone, or “me time,” can help increase your self-understanding, be a source of self-renewal and provide greater goal clarification (which will help you tackle those resolutions). That’s according to a University of Massachusetts Amherst study by James R. Averill, Ph.D, and Christopher R. Long on the subjective experiences of solitude.

Depending on your schedule, “me time” can be anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes, or as long as your busy day allows. Resist the urge to turn your “me time” into a chance to knock off errands on your to-do list. Instead, collect your thoughts by finally scheduling that much-needed spa treatment, or simply treat yourself to the luxury of indulging in anything you want — hence the term “me time.” Here are more ideas to inspire you and help you recharge your batteries:

  1. Visit a park or take a walk.

    If the winter weather allows for it, take a stroll outdoors and just observe the beauty of nature. When anxious thoughts emerge in your mind, don’t judge them; just simply let them pass through. Focus your attention on enjoying the beautiful flowers or cloud formations that you ordinarily miss during your everyday busy life. Or if it’s too cold out, simply get comfy by the fire and watch the embers dance as you daydream and lose track of time.
  2. Try a new recipe or book.

    Juggling work, kids and all the hullaballoo of your daily routine can certainly get in the way of your “me time.It can be difficult to find a moment for activities of happy solitude like cooking a hearty recipe or diving into a book. Schedule an appointment to be alone and read in your favorite chair or test out that dusty crème brulee torch in your cupboard that you received last holiday season and have been meaning to put to use.
  3. Take a bath.

    This is the perfect opportunity to fill the tub to the brim, add some Epsom Salts to the water and drop some aromatherapy oils in. Turn off your phone and let the warm bath comfort you until your fingers and toes wrinkle.
  4. Yoga or Pilates.

    Take a yoga or Pilates class at your neighborhood studio. Focusing on your mind and body is essential to helping you unwind from the stress of your hectic schedule. Many studios offer lunch break or shortened classes, which are perfect for the busy 21st century person, trying to squeeze a little “me time” into their schedule.
  5. Just be.

    Taking time to sit quietly by yourself can be one of the hardest tasks. However, once you begin, you will be surprised and what you can get out of it. Not only will you relax and rejuvenate, but many times a bit of quiet solitude is all you need to break through a mental block, come up with that next great idea, or simply find that centered place within yourself. Start with a couple of minutes, and then move up from there. You’ll be amazed at how different you feel.

Remember: “me time” is a reward for YOU. So, do something — anything — that you’ll enjoy.

Sources: Ladies Home Journal U.S. Department of Agriculture WebMD