Are you feeling worn out? Is it more than just the hot summer weather that’s dragging you down? It’s a fact that many of us these days are just too busy, and too stressed. One study from the American Psychological Association showed that a whopping 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. One of the best ways to counteract both the stress and the busyness is taking time for "Me" time in your life.
So how can you do that? For starters, take a moment to sit still, close your eyes and invite yourself to remember a recent time that you really felt relaxed and happy. Was it when you were alone, curled up with a good book, or were you out having a drink with friends?
The answer to that question is really important for determining what “me” time looks like for you. This is because some people thrive on being alone (they are called “introverts”), while others thrive on the company of others (they are called “extroverts”). When you are determining “me” time, you need to ask yourself which of these groups you belong in.
If you thrive on alone time, then “me” time will best be had alone. If you live with extroverts, who think that the best times are when they are hosting a party or going out with friends, you may need to explain the difference to them (have them read this blog, for instance) and then state that you need that “me” time in a different way than they do. Suggestions for getting your alone time can range from parking yourself under a tree in the park on a Saturday afternoon with a great book to getting a spa treatment after work. At least once a year, you should benefit from a few days of “retreat” in a rented cabin in the woods or at a beach resort somewhere. Don’t worry; once your family sees the difference, they will push you to go again next year!
If you thrive on time with others, then “me” time will be when you get to make the choices about where, when, and how you hang out with others, and who those people are. Again, you may need to explain this to the introverts in your life, who probably believe that the only valid “me” time, is alone time. Suggestions for you include a regular time at the “Cheers” bar of your choice, with those friends you enjoy so much, and perhaps your yearly “retreat” is to a big city with a couple of buddies, to enjoy the sights and sounds and people all around you.
Regardless of which group you fall in, if you have young, or older, family members for whom you are responsible, you will only really benefit from “me” time if you first arrange for their care, so you can let go of the stress of worrying about them, and turn your attention to caring for yourself.
So where do you go for your “me” time? Let us know which group you fall into and what "me" time you use to reduce your stress.