When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to prioritize getting things done over taking a break -- no matter how much you need it. But while powering through may feel like the most productive option, it’s just as important for you to take a step back and focus on taking some time for yourself. After all, the more “me” time you get in, the more rejuvenated you’ll be. And the more rejuvenated you are, the more time you spend crushing your schedule (and the less time you spend getting crushed by it).
When you want a few minutes to yourself, to clear your mind and unwind, it’s important to do it away from phones, computers, and social media. Our devices keep us in constant contact with people, which means that they keep us constantly engaged in things other than self-awareness. Take some time away from the tech to tune into your own thoughts.
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A lot of us spend so much of our time thinking of how to please others that we don’t tend to think about how we could be treating ourselves from time to time. Make it a point to focus on rewarding, celebrating, and spoiling yourself every now and then, like by buying yourself some nice flowers for the living room on the way home from work.
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If you have trouble taking a second to clear your mind here and there throughout your day, it might be a good idea to work some time to meditate into your schedule. Whether it’s an a.m. yoga session or a pre-bedtime meditation routine, dedicating a portion of your day to practicing mindfulness can help you feel consistently revived and relaxed in the long term.
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Getting in touch with nature can have an incredibly soothing effect on the mind and body. Taking time to step outside, whether it’s by taking your lunch break in the park or taking an evening walk after dinner, lets you take a break far from the usual workplace or household distractions.
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Opt out of a shower and, instead, treat yourself to a relaxing bath before bed. Light a few candles, indulge in some bath salts, and put on some music for a treatment that feels especially comforting. (When it comes to “me” time, a little luxury never hurts.)
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You have to eat, so why not take advantage of meal prep and turn that into “me” time? Instead of falling back on a meal that you know by heart, spice things up with a new recipe and use dinnertime as an opportunity to have a bit of fun and to get creative.
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Setting time aside (even if only five minutes or so) before bed to reflect on your day is a great way to help you tune into your thoughts and your emotions, which in turn translates into better self-awareness. End each day by thinking about the things that you are thankful for. Write it down and put yourself in a positive mindset before dozing off.
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While “me” time is traditionally something that you do solo, it can just as easily mean taking time to hang out with friends and loved ones, far from stressors that weigh you down on a regular basis. Make time for a book club, a craft party, or a casual night out.
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When working one form of “me” time or another into your day always seems to get out-prioritized by other demands, pencil it into your calendar. It might seem silly to physically schedule time to yourself, but blocking out five minutes for you to just take a quick breather might make it more likely that you’ll stick to it.