Ever yearned for a quick break in between all your work? This is probably because your mind is saying ‘ENOUGH!’ When you have too much to handle, you can’t get the best out of you because one part of your mind is already pre-occupied with something else. In order to do your maximum you need to be focused. This is why you need to have short breaks (or may be even longer breaks) to rejuvenate yourself. Having ‘ME’ time is the best way to recharge yourself and why not make it a top priority for the New Year?
Why is ‘ME’ time important?
According to Dr. Ramani Ratnaweera, Consultant Psychiatrist at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, having time for yourself is important because we all lead busy lifestyles. “Therefore it gives an opportunity to stop doing for others and give more time to yourself. Consider this to be your own holiday. To do this, you need to finish all your household chores and take minimum five to 30 minutes off and think about all the good things that have happened in your life. Engage in something you like doing. We all have various stressors in our lives, be it health, life events, losses etc. Hence, our system needs time to grieve and get over that loss. You need time to think, communicate with people, read a book, go on a vacation and recharge yourself,” explained Dr.Ratnaweera.
Achieving ‘ME’ time
She further said that you can’t discipline your children if you’re stressed and added, “We need a lot of energy to move around and do what we are doing. Therefore it’s quite important to take some time off for yourselves. Let’s see how this could be achieved”.
Simplify your life: List down the priorities and manage your time accordingly. This helps you to structure your day and if you feel you need some support, ask for some help from your husband, wife, mother or anybody in the family.
Do more recreational activities: This could be sewing, knitting, cooking and having a good sleep at night. When you’re engaging in these activities, there can’t be any disturbances. On the other you shouldn’t be glued to any technological devices either.
Learn to say ‘No’ : You need to decide what you want in life and not have too many things on your ‘plate’. Think of achieving what is achievable and not anything beyond that. This will take a person a long way.
Get comfortable with imperfection : A key reason many of us struggle to make time for ourselves is because we want everything to be perfect. But would it really matter if some of your chores were left for another day? If you wait for the perfect time to do things, none of your goals would be achieved. Therefore, accept that perfection doesn’t exist and make yourself a priority.
Create a daily ritual : This could be anything from writing down what happened to you during the day, meditation etc. When you create a daily ritual or habits, they eventually become second nature to us and something we do instinctively.
How ‘ME’ time benefits you
At one point you would realise that having ‘me’ time has given you more opportunities to explore unknown territory. Here are a few changes you would possible come across :
Exploring yourself : You will have time to test certain skills you thought you never had. Try your hand at painting, writing, singing, cooking or even volunteering for a cause and you would be amazed to find out what you could do when you save energy.
Being independent: By spending time alone you will learn to appreciate your own company. In fact it will teach you that your happiness doesn’t depend on others around you, but you.
Get more creative: It is said that the most creative souls have always locked themselves up to let their imaginations run wild without distractions. By being alone it will give your mind a opportunity to wander and bring out the best within you. More authentic: By having me time you’ll realize that you are not what your society expects you to be but a unique person altogether. Spending time alone gives you an opportunity to be honest to yourself and thereby helps develop your personality.
More empathetic: Research suggests that a certain amount of ‘ME’ time will help you have greater empathy towards other people. But be careful to not let periods of solitude lead to social isolation.
In her concluding remarks, Dr. Ratnaweera said that you need to nurture your family because the family unit is the happiest place in your life. “Therefore, nurture it in such a way that spending time with your loved ones is indeed a treat. Have live interactions, expressing your love and emotions and it will definitely strengthen the relationships further,” said Dr. Ratnaweera.