Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t have any time to think about your own needs? Or does looking at your calendar stress you out because you have no free time at all this week? Trying to fit some “me” time in your schedule can be difficult. It can be tempting to give up your “me” time to show how hardworking you are to your boss. After all, we often prioritize everyone else’s need above our own as we don’t want to seem selfish – but at risk to our mental health!
A study by Happify shows that having more free time leads to a better work-life balance and more engagement at the office. Before you dismiss the idea of leaving some free time for yourself, here are some benefits of doing so:
Helps You to Relieve Stress
A study conducted in 2017 shows that those who prioritize alone time experienced stress relief and relaxation. Because stress is usually experienced when trying to please others, we will feel more exhausted, more run down and eventually burnt out if we don’t give time to ourselves. Having “me” time gives you the breathing space to do relaxing activities like reading, meditating or watching movies. These activities allow you to unwind, recharge and bring your stress levels down. Remember to unplug, forget your to do list for a few minutes, and just focus on the present.
Allows Time to Reflect
It is essential to stop and evaluate ourselves every now and then. We can get so caught up with our work that we forget our objectives. Angela Grice, a speech-language pathologist, says: “Cultivating this sense of being alone can help you to develop who you are, your sense of self, and what your true interests are.” Having time to yourself will allow you to reflect, learn more about yourself and align yourself to your goals once again. When you have the time to do some self reflection, you will feel more comfortable in your skin.
Increases Your Productivity
Studies show that solitude can improve your concentration and productivity. Our everyday lives are filled with a long list of tasks to complete which might cause you to feel unmotivated to complete all of them. If you find yourself losing focus at work, take some time to remove yourself and have a breather – a short solo walk might help! Doing something enjoyable during those breaks will help you clear your mind and boost your productivity at work.
Your “me” time does not have to be long – just being able to get a few minutes of alone time will benefit you. Some ways to ensure you get a moment to yourself includes waking up earlier so that you have a quiet house to yourself, turning off your phone, or spending your breaks outside. It is important to note that “me” time does not just happen, you need to make it a priority and fit in some time in your schedule to focus on you!
“I have come to realize that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival” – Audre Lorde