“Me time” doesn’t have to be a whole day at the spa. In fact, just few minutes squeezed into the middle of the day works if that’s all you have. You can (and should!) find a little time every day to relax and recharge, so whether it’s 20 minutes or a couple of hours, we’ve got a list of fun and fast ideas to help you make the most of the time you have all to yourself.
Ban all electronics, social media, email and phone calls for a set amount of time, and instead read a book or magazine, go for a walk, or simply stare out the window and daydream. Squeeze this one in while having your morning coffee, while on a subway commute or cab ride, or on a Saturday afternoon between errands.
Make and create, just for fun. The key is that it doesn’t have to be perfect; you don’t have to plan it out or do it exactly right. Draw, write, sculpt, bake a cake, colour in a colouring book… Just don’t get hung up on how it turns out. It’s the act of creating that’s important here, not the end result.
Take Yourself Out To Lunch
Indulge yourself in a leisurely meal alone at a nice sit-down restaurant or favourite cafe. This is a good one for a mid-week break from the usual routine, or a weekend escape when someone else is home with the kids. Read a book, people watch, get lost in thought… and thoroughly enjoy your meal.
Take A Nap
No, we don’t mean flopping down on the couch and waking up with a kink in your neck. Get in bed, all comfy under the covers, and really rest. Sleep if you have time, or at the very least close your eyes and revel in the fluffy softness.
Call An Old Friend
Missing the good old days? Maintaining positive relationships is food for the soul, so grab a random moment of free time and call up an old friend or family member that you miss talking to, for no reason other than to catch up. Chat about whatever or whomever, just enjoy their company.
Sometimes a little mindless “guilty pleasure” television can be good for the soul as well. The trick is to watch something you love but rarely or never get a chance to indulge in, and really let yourself enjoy it. Depending on your living situation, this could be a very real – and very rare – treat.
Have A Grown-Up Play Date
Meet up with a friend for something fun and silly like an afternoon movie, miniature golf, a cooking class or just catching up over coffee. Hanging out with someone fun and completely separate from your work and family stresses can be very rejuvenating – and the many other benefits found in fostering a friendship are a happy bonus.
Write down your feelings, stresses, ideas, dreams – whatever strikes your fancy. It doesn’t have to be a regular thing to feel good or serve a purpose, so don’t worry if it’s only one time or very sporadic. Keep a small notebook with you, and reach for it instead of your mobile phone when feeling bored or fidgety (psst… find more phone-free activity tips here).
Indulge In A Hobby
What do you love to do for fun? Make it happen, in miniature form if need be. Don’t have time to spend an afternoon golfing? Hit the driving range for 20 minutes. Love to read? Keep a book in your bag. Interested in something that takes more planning or involves other people? Start the process of planning something (and make it happen).
Go To A Movie …Alone
Of course you could take a date, friend or spouse, but there’s a special kind of “me time” to be found in going to the movies by yourself. You choose the show and where to sit, there’s no sharing snacks, and you get to be the mysterious stranger everyone wonders about (and secretly envies).
Take A Class
Have a spare hour or two once a week? Think of something on your bucket list that you’ve always wanted to learn or do, and take a class. Cooking, ballroom dancing, a new language, basket weaving? (could be fun) – the possibilities are endless. Go alone or find a similarly minded friend and get your learn on.
Upgrade Your Daily Shower
Yes, it’s a little cliché, but bathing really is the ultimate “me time”. Add bubbles or aromatherapy and get a shower radio to play some favourite tunes, and really relax. Long and leisurely is great, but whether under the shower or in the tub, even 20 minutes is enough to feel luxurious.
Clear Your Head
Meditate, get your yoga on, or play some upbeat tunes and dance around with wild abandon. Find what works for you, and a time of day that you can be totally alone (early mornings are a good bet), and just completely let go for as many minutes as you have.
Get outside for a run or walk, take a group class, or hit the gym and follow your workout with a session in the sauna or hot tub. Trouble finding time? Your health is a priority, so feel no guilt scheduling exercise into your daily routine. Find an activity you love, and then the “me time” effect is a bonus.
Tired of snarfing mediocre snacks on the go? Treat yourself to something indulgent and take a minute to really savour it. Hot chocolate, ice cream, fresh fruit with whipped cream, whatever strikes your fancy – just eat it slowly and deliberately, and enjoy every luscious bite.
Article by Rigel Celeste
Do you also struggle to find uninterrupted 'me time' in today's non-stop world?