Have you ever found yourself complaining, silently or out loud, “I just haven’t had any time for myself lately”?
We all need time for ourselves. We chase this intangible and sacred space of time. Sometimes we find it, but a lot of the times, we don’t. Because “life gets in the way”. When we do get it, it is rare, and quickly taken away from us too.
This blog post is the result of a conversation with myself in my head. It went something like this:
Ok so, if I want to have this “time for myself”, I have to make sure some other things are done first. I have to clean this room, I have to study for my midterms, I have to meet my friends for coffee, I have to shower, I have to cook some dinner, I have to go to dance practice…Hmmm…
That’s when I realized, with all those things on my plate it would be quite unrealistic to expect myself to have a whole load of time to sit around and relish in me-ness. It ain’t ever gonna happen. And if it does, I won’t even enjoy it because I will be feeling confused, guilty and probably a little bit bored.
There are three types of “Me-Time” that you need, and they are as follows:
1. Me time where you get things done, like cooking and cleaning.
I hate to say it but you have to start seeing the time you cook and clean and do other household chores as part of your “me time”. Well, you don’t have to, but it would be better if you did. Even if you dislike cooking, cleaning, or doing chores, technically it is still “me” time, because it’s just you and the dishes, baby;) If you start making every single thing you “have to do” into an enemy of your “me-time” then you will find that you have next to no time for yourself.
I’m not saying you will be at your most comfortable and cozy state when you are standing there in your sweats and getting stuff done, but at least you can approach these tasks that you have to do with a comfortable and cozy attitude. To remember that you are doing these things because you want the end result, and this is a step you are taking for yourself!
Instead of seeing these chores as a “job” try to enjoy the process.
2. Me time where you pursue a hobby or an interest.
The second component of me-time is the time that you invest in a hobby or an interest. It surprises me when some people talk about their hobby as though it is something that takes away from their own personal time. If this is true, you need to switch hobbies! Of course it’s not always easy to pursue any interest consistently over a period of time. I don’t see dance practice as a “job” even if some evenings I am tired and not really in the mood to roll around the floor. No matter how I feel, this is a section in my day that I have for myself, to do something I enjoy, that is not related to the stress-fest of school. And that is pretty sweet.
Whatever your hobby or interest is, part of your sacred “me time” should be dedicated to practicing it and pursuing it!
3. Me time where you do nothing.
The final type of “Me time” that you need is the me time where you do nothing (and this doesn’t include the time you spend sleeping). This is probably the “me time” people are looking for the most, but it is also equally important to realize that this is the type of me time that you will probably attain the least.
This is the kind of time that you can spend browsing the internet, meditating, reading, watching your favourite TV shows, listening to music, staring into space. That kind of stuff.
So if you’re looking for more “me time” it’s important to keep it real. In reality, time is a limited resource. “Me time” is an even more limited resource. You got to be real and keep this proportionate. The time you find for yourself will always be less than the time you must find for other things – but that only makes it sweeter. We must also try to find joy in the things that we are doing for ourselves, and see that these things are actually for our benefit – and so can also be accounted for as “me time”.