The Importance of “Me Time”
Self-care (aka “me time”) has been defined as providing adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). In other words, you need to take time to recharge your batteries.
Have you ever just been stuck with all of the to-do’s in life? Perhaps you work full time, have two young children (like myself), a husband, family/friend obligations and so on. Maybe you don’t work full time but you are a stay at home mom, which in my opinion is harder than working a full-time job! Let’s face it, life is demanding. It can be a challenge to take some time out for yourself. Chances are you would probably feel guilty for doing it or you are afraid that people will think you are selfish.
With the demands of today’s society, this may seem near impossible. So let’s do a little pro/con list of why you should consider self-care.
“Me time” is essential for your overall health!
- Prevents burnout
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve your quality of life
- Prevents many chronic diseases (depression, diabetes, heart disease)
- Manage chronic diseases that you may already have
- Feel more fulfilled about life
- Have more energy
I could literally go on and on. It is such a cliché but you are not any good to anyone if you aren’t good to yourself. If you are not eating right, managing your stress, being active and getting enough sleep then rest assure, your less than ideal habits will eventually catch up with you. Most likely you will get ill, get resentful, lose your temper or your body will just completely shut down and you would develop a chronic disease. What kind of outcome would that produce? How good would you be for your work, family and even worse your children?
Let’s dive deep now and take a closer look at the perceived cons of some me time.
- Takes effort
- You may be viewed as selfish
- Less time with your friends and family
- Time away from your kids
- Feelings of guilt
Yes, absolutely carving out some me time does take effort! I am one to argue that 99% of things that are worthwhile in life take some effort. Is it worth the effort so you can feel better? Self-care re-energizes you, puts you in a better mood, and overall lifts your spirits. Think about the last time you were in a bad mood or feeling down, how enjoyable do you think you were to your children or your significant other? Do you think that was quality time with them? Chances are they want to see you happy and full of life. The bottom line is if you feel good you would have better interactions with everyone in your life.
Are worried that people will think you are selfish? One thing I realized a long time ago is that people are quick to judge. The ones that are thinking this way about you are most likely the ones that are not taking very good care of their own health. Just keep in mind no matter how hard you try, it is an impossible task to please everyone.
How about less time with your friends and family or your children? Again, focus on the quality of time. If you are miserable all of the time (or even some of time) then this is not an environment that anyone is truly enjoying.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the evil gremlin in you that makes you feel guilty whenever you even think about a little bit of me time. If you can just remember that if you are healthy and happy because you practice self-care then it is a win-win for everyone. You will be a better, healthier person if you make yourself a priority. There is only one of you. It is essential that you care for yourself so you will be around for many more years to come.
Maybe you are now beginning to realize the importance of self-care. So where do you start? I have found that this self-care plan is an excellent starting place. If nothing else, just start with going for a walk 10 minutes a day, indulge in a bubble bath, or get a massage. You can always check out our tele-health weight loss and healthy eating programs. Start somewhere. You are worth it!
References: Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.