We all want it. With our jam-packed work and home schedules, we can’t seem to get enough of it. But what IS “me time”? How do we get it? And how much of it do we really need?
What IS “me time”?
What constitutes “me time” is different for each person. “Me time” is time spent doing whatever helps you decompress, get centered, and focus your energies for your days ahead. For some people, “me time” is time spent reading a good book quietly and without interruption. For others, “me time” is spent in contemplative solitude, in a reconnection to nature by way of spending time in the mountains, or in prayer. “Me time” may be different for each person, but the unifying characteristics among us all are that “me time” is done independently (not with others) and for the purpose of recharging our spiritual, emotional, and cognitive batteries.
How do we get “me time”?
We need to make “me time” a priority. We can schedule “me time” much like we schedule other appointments in our lives. For example, if your family usually watches television before bedtime, this may be a “me time” opportunity for you. Rather than watching that half hour sitcom with the family, perhaps you can set aside that 30 minutes for whatever “me time” activity suits you. Your spouse can watch the sitcom with the kids for that brief period. You can then trade off and spend time with the kids for a different 30-minute period of time while your spouse grabs some “me time” of his/her own. If this trade off is not possible, then consider hiring a babysitter to watch the kids while you have your “me time” activity.
How much “me time” do we really need?
Different people need different levels of “me time” . . . and any one person may need varying levels of “me time” based on the circumstances of his/her life. In general, some people need very little “me time” and can survive and thrive with a half hour of “me time” once every two weeks . . . while other people need at least a half hour of “me time” daily to stay centered and focused. If a person who usually needs little “me time” is going through a stressful period of life, additional “me time” may be desired and needed throughout this period. If a person is feeling much in need of long overdue “me time”, intensive “me time” may be warranted. Intensive “me time” is “me time” in excess of one hour. Until a person feels caught up on his/her backlog of “me time”, intensive “me time” may be ongoing.
While “me time” varies from person to person in terms of activity and length, what “me time” does for us and how we can fit “me time” into our busy schedules are the same for all of us. The bottom line is that we all need “me time”, however we choose to spend it.