Taking some time for yourself is something I think we all need to do if we are going to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I had this conversation with Amanda, whose blog I referred to in a recent post, about a week ago and it just kept coming back to me so I figured I would write about it. Some people think asking for a little “me” time is selfish but the truth is that it is absolutely necessary for survival. I don’t mean you need to set aside two hours a day to just be alone but simply doing tasks that allow you to relax your mind and body and recharge can be so helpful. These little things are often overlooked when they really shouldn’t be because it is so important to our overall well being. You are no good to anyone unless you take care of yourself first. I know there are many caretakers of sick or elderly individuals, and parents who are solely focused on their children that they don’t take any time to just breathe. That cannot only be detrimental to the caretaker but to the person or people whom they are caring for. After all, if you don’t take care of you how are you supposed to take care of someone else?
I have found that it can sometimes be difficult to tell another person that you need some time to decompress because it can often be taken the wrong way. However difficult it may be, I think it would do us all some good. In my experience, saying something along the lines of “I hope you don’t mind but it has been a crazy week and I just need a little time to myself to unwind a bit” will get the job done. It is simple and to the point, while letting the other person know that it is circumstances that surround your own life (work stress, health issues, relationship troubles, etc) that call for you to take some time to focus on you, and not anything the other person has said or done.
Exercising, reading an engaging book, watching some television, writing in a journal, reading the newspaper to catch up on certain issues are all good ways to use your alone time to just relax and let all of the stress be put aside for a little while. Also, trying to put your phone and/or computer away for a little while can allow you to breathe a bit if you happen to be someone who is married to their electronics. One of my favorite things to do when I want to unwind is to watch a funny sitcom with my dogs by my side. Having an animal around still counts as taking time for you and can also be very calming. These are obviously just some suggestions. The key is to find ways to unwind and recharge that is best for you. Some people hate exercising while others find it is the only way they can cope with stressful life circumstances. I happen to love writing in my journal but others may find it takes too much focus. The point is that we all need to focus on ourselves a little more than society generally does because when/if we can do that, we will be a lot happier and more focused when it comes time to tackle some of life’s challenges.