We always have too much on our plate. As we always try to maintain our work-life balance, we also tend to forget ourselves.
We are always on the run keeping up with the expectancy of our manager, family, friends and our responsibilities. As it comes to ourselves, we tend to neglect our needs and desires.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us spend more time at home, which might make us feel that we do not need that much me time as we are home most of the time. It is because, in most cases, we don't think about what me time really is.
What is me time?
We all find ourselves saying, "I need some me time." But it doesn't simply mean that taking a break from your daily jobs. Me time is your time when you intentionally check in with yourself both physically and mentally. The keyword for a proper me time is the intention. To create those little moments of me time, we need to be conscious of our needs and desires that our body and mind search for.
Some people might think that "me time" is a little bit selfish these days as we are more away from social life due to the pandemic. But if you don't give this opportunity to yourself, you might reach the point of burnout, which also affects your job and your loved ones.
Why is me time important?
If you are working from home, the line between business and personal life becomes more blurred. So, it can be harder for you to listen to your body and mind. It is the reality for most of us for a long time. As we lose the sense of clarity, space and calmness, we can't see the alerts of possible burnouts beforehand.
LinkedIn has come up with a thoughtful idea for their employees. They have given their employees a week off for their well-being. They have provided employees the me time opportunity to take part in daily activities like volunteering for worthy causes. By taking such small step, companies can improve employee retention and streamline position management.
A clinical psychologist and the CEO and founder of The Sydney Anxiety Clinic, Dr. Jodie Lowinger, explains that "I'm seeing people experiencing burnout on the back of COVID-19 because they're working harder, longer, and not taking holidays. Not to mention the extra layer of stress we're all experiencing because of the uncertainty." In conclusion, she suggests that it is now the time to normalize mental health breaks in business life which will eventually improve employee productivity and happiness.
We all need a rest, space and time for our own, so there is nothing wrong to say I need some me time. We have tried to gather some relaxing me time ideas for you to get inspired. Keep in mind that you don't have to adopt the exact ideas for me time below. It is your time, activity; feel free to try, re-shape, and create your way.
Relaxing Me Time Ideas
1. Do nothing for your brain
Barbara Oakley, a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, says, "When you take a break, you may want to do something mind-consuming to help with motivation, but technically your best way of taking a break is to do something mindless."
It may sound like an easy activity for a me time, but it is hard to allow yourself to do nothing. So, you may want to try activities you are familiar with.
- Take a walk
We all need physical activity for our health. But as we keep track of our weight, the number of steps we make, kilometers we run, weights we lift, the activity itself becomes challenging, which may take the relaxation out of the equation. So, leave your fitness gadgets at home and go for a solo walk. You don't need to keep track of anything, just enjoy nature and the view for a change.
- Play a game without a score
Even when we play games on our own, we are used to keeping scores. By keeping score, we are actually creating a new task that our brain has to accomplish. If you want to give an effective mental break for your me time, find a simple puzzle game that doesn't require much to do.
- Sit down and breathe.
Our brain needs rest. While we are taking a nap, our brain processes what we have learned during the day. Also, researchers believe that as we sleep, the waste products from brain cells are removed more efficiently than when the brain is awake.
Just take a small pause during the day for your me time, find a comfortable place, sit down and breathe. You can just sit down for a couple of minutes with eyes closed, thinking about the serenity of your breath. If you feel exhausted, try a short nap. Please do not feel guilty about your nap; remember that your brain needs it to be more productive.
Creating a me time to reflect on your day can help you understand your feelings, appreciate what you have, and clearly understand your desires. It is a practice that guides you to improve your self-awareness.
It is very easy to get caught up in the daily routine with busy business and life schedules. Our mind fills up with all the information we process during the day. Set aside 10 minutes me time each night right before going to sleep to write about your experiences for the day. Make this practice a soothing bedtime routine that may also increase your sleep quality as it helps you clear your mind.
3. Adult Coloring
Adult coloring books have become very popular in the last few years. We see many alternatives with different patterns of mandalas, nature and animal designs on the shelves. You don't need to have any skills to do adult coloring; just some coloring pencils and a coloring book.
There are many benefits of adult coloring as a me time activity, according to the clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea. First of all, it is a meditative exercise as it takes your mind away from your daily problems and even from yourself. Also, as it is a very simple activity, it allows your brain to relax. Last but not least, there are no rights or wrongs in this activity. The only instruction is to color outside the lines. It is your chance to take a break from the demanding daily jobs.
Moreover, in a research study published in 2005, the results showed that coloring a complex geometric design caused a decrease in anxiety levels of the participants as the coloring created a kind of meditative state. It seems like it is worth giving a shot to adult coloring as a me time activity as it may help you reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Work on a DIY project
We spend a lot of time in our home. So, why not make it more attractive for yourself in your me time? DIY activities can help you get out of your comfort zone, be creative and even save some dollars.
You can start with a simple DIY project such as making a pencil holder, terrarium or painting a piece of furniture. These projects can help you to take your mind off your work and give you time to decompress.
If you want to get inspired, you can check this list and tutorials for each DIY project.
5. Create a scrapbook
Scrapbooking is not just about preserving memories; it also helps you to relax, spend time with your positive memories and communicate with your feelings as a me time activity. Also, there are many creative tasks while you are creating a scrapbook.
These easy tasks like cutting your templates and choosing decorating elements help you distract your mind and forget about your everyday worries in life for a while. It can be a meditative me time activity to take a break from your daily routine.
Moreover, it reminds you of the happiest moments of your life and also the obstacles you encounter and accomplish to get over. These memories can increase your self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, which will boost your energy for the rest of the day.
Having a me time can allow you to get rid of the stress and anxiety for a while and continue to your daily routine with a clearer mind. The term me-time can sound a little bit selfish but don't forget that as your mind becomes clearer and your body feels more relaxed, your relations with people and your thoughts and attitudes will improve, too!
Also, you can consider these me time activities as an opportunity to unplug. As you give your mind space, take a break from technology, too. We spend a lot of time on social media as it helps us connect with our loved ones and keep up with the rest of the world, but social media also has some disadvantages.
Even when you have a very busy day, just take a 10-minute break for your me time. You will be surprised to see the results!