Give Yourself the Gift of “Me Time”
When the month of December rolls around, do you find yourself stressed to the max fitting holiday preparations on your already burgeoning to-do list? If you’re like most people, you definitely do! Keep reading today’s post with a few hacks to help give the most important person on your list the gift of “me time.”
In the last few weeks, have you been running around decorating, shopping, cleaning, baking, sending cards or holiday emails, and generally preparing for the BIG day?
If you have, you also probably squeezed time into your already busy schedule by replacing them with some of your daily routine… Did healthy eating, exercise, meditation or sleep happen to be any of the tossed aside activities?
You know the safety instructions airlines always provide before every flight? They say that in an emergency, we need to put our oxygen masks on first, then help others with theirs. The logic here is simple: we cannot save anyone if we’re in danger ourselves.
The same advice holds true for health and well-being. Although many of us tend to put others before ourselves (especially parents with their kids), self-neglect tends to accumulate. Often we end up sick, our bodies’ way of forcing us to prioritize self-care.
And when we get sick, we’re no good to anyone. The people in our lives who depend on us are suddenly left to their own devices (or maybe you just ignore the illness and push through it).
The alternative has the opposite results: when you’re feeling healthy and on top of your game, you have an abundance of energy, motivation and positive attitude. When you’re at your best, do you find that you accomplish more in a shorter time? Do solutions to problems come more easily?
Holiday Hacks to Gift Yourself More “Me Time”
Here are a few tricks and tips that you can try now during the holiday season or actually anytime of the year when life becomes complicated and you find yourself foregoing self-care.
- Simplify! Does your house look a little like National Lampoon’s house during the holidays? Instead of spending so much time and money on going big this year, why not tone it down? For instance, you could buy a single light projector which only requires a few minutes to stake it into the ground, compared to multiple hours of stringing up dozens of lights.
- Replace less constructive activities with self-care. If you’ve simplified holiday preparations and still can’t seem to find more “me time,” then it’s time to haul out the big guns. How much time do you spend watching TV throughout the week? Or mindlessly surfing the web? Or using social media? Could you cut that time in half? Try replacing that time with self-care practices and we bet that after two weeks, you’ll feel so good you’ll be more choosy with your less constructive activities.
- Wake up 10 minutes early. This is a favourite tip of ours because you’re truly prioritizing self-care if it’s the first thing you do when you wake up. Instead of grabbing a coffee to wake up in the morning, get your heart rate up naturally with a few exercises or brisk walk/run. The increased oxygen WILL wake you up and if you can get sweating, that’s an even more effective way to spend your morning time. Plus, it’ll set a positive tone for the rest of your day with loads of feel-good neurotransmitters!
- Schedule. Do you schedule all your important meetings and appointments? Now that we know self-care should be our number one priority, it’s a good idea to schedule in your weekly workouts as well as time to prepare nutritious meals. Guard that sacred “me time” and keep those self-care appointments! If you need someone to hold you accountable and provide you with professional guidance in self-care, hire a good personal trainer who will help you stay on track.
- Choose more effective workouts. You really don’t need to schedule an entire hour for each workout session. Fitting in a quick, high intensity workout is just as effective and requires less time. The idea is for you to sweat, get your heart rate up and use those muscles! Read The Value of High Impact Exercises to learn more about this type of exercise and a few examples.
- Meditate. A meditation practice is a good one to schedule in, too, as it’s exercise for the mind and has a plethora of benefits. It helps us de-stress (positively affecting our physiology), clears our mind and improves creativity – all of which makes us more effective in life, making even more time for self-care. Check out our Guide to Meditation if you’re interested in exercising your mind more often.
- Resist feeling guilty! Whether it`s conscious or unconscious, most of us actually feel guilty if we place our needs before others. Remember the airplane emergency instructions, though? You need to look after yourself so you have the personal resources to help others. Your health (and abilities!) directly reflects the time you spend on either neglecting yourself or providing your entire being what it needs to thrive.
Do you have any holiday hacks to share that help you create more “me time?”