Written by Paige Reynolds

Living YOUR best life starts with making time for YOU

Taking time for yourself, or what a lot of people are recently calling “self-care”, isn’t a new idea and it also needs to be something that we think of constantly, not just when we’re overwhelmed. (It’s also not just for women, guys.)

In our fast-paced, results-driven, and team-oriented world, we can easily overlook – or completely ignore – what we want and need in favor of pursuing what we’re asked of. When we’re always working to get ahead, we can forget to find the balance between supporting others and supporting ourselves.

But, living your best life requires you to be a little selfish and to carve out that “me” time or self-care (or whatever you want to call it).

Double duty

If you’re worried about being selfish, consider how your “me” time can positively impact other people: your colleagues, your partner, your friends. Taking time to recharge and take care of yourself actually serves those around you as well. According to psychologists, “me” time can reboot our brains, help us unwind, enhance our relationships, and improve our concentration.

We carry all of our thoughts, feelings, and desires with us. Imagine you have a stressful day at work, can’t unwind or destress, and you start spreading your negative energy onto your partner or your family. In no time at all, you’ve created a wave of frustration that spreads from person to person. Your partner could bring it to their meeting the next day, or your child to school with them.

It’s a vicious cycle and doesn’t paint you in a pretty light. But, if you recognize the need for “me” time, you can eliminate the wave of frustration and begin to live a life you truly love.

Three ideas for me-time

If you want to get serious about self-care, make it a priority. It’s not easy and it’s not always the most fun. After all, you’re using this time to focus on yourself, and that’s not the norm. But it should be.

Block off an hour or so during your weekend (or whenever you can fit it in) and be clear that the time is for you. Make it such a regular event that you eventually won’t have to block it off, you’ll just do it.

  1. Self-reflect: Head out to a coffee shop, order your favorite drink, and spend some quiet time thinking about what’s happening in your life (e.g., an upcoming celebration, challenges at work, etc.). Bring a pen and some paper and write it down. Consider what you want to do to make progress. If coffee’s not your thing, find a quiet place outdoors. Removing distractions increases productivity, making it easier to navigate through life’s many obstacles with proficiency.
  2. Unwind: Self-reflection may be more stressful to you. If so, give yourself some space to forget everything that’s stressing you out and simply do what you love. Listen to music, draw, or catch up on that Netflix show you’ve been hearing about.
  3. Treat yourself: You might have to spend a little money for this one, but hey…you’re worth it! Get yourself tickets to a baseball game, book a massage, take a solo trip, or buy all the ingredients for an intricate dinner. Recognizing and rewarding yourself with what makes YOU happy is a good thing.

Ultimately, my advice is don’t be afraid or nervous to take time for yourself. It doesn’t make you weak or high-maintenance. It makes you strong.

After all, your best life and the best version of yourself? It starts with you.

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