Why Everyone Needs Some “Me Time”
I’m not an anti-social person. I thoroughly enjoy my time spent with friends, family, coworkers, etc. I could never survive life as a hermit in the woods with no communication to the outside world. I love that I sit in a cube at work and can chat with whoever walks by my desk (well, sometimes…)
Other times, I feel like I’ve hit my threshold of human interaction. Call me selfish, but when I hit that threshold the last thing in the world I want to do is sit and listen to other people’s problems, talk about work that day or even be in the same room with another living soul. I become a crabby old lady and usually give up what could be an awesome Friday night just to stay in and do nothing.
Since I started my job, I’ve noticed that I don’t get as much “me time” as I did in college… where I could go to my room, shut the door and watch trashy TV. As a young 20-something, we’re supposed to be fully dedicated to advancing our careers while maintaining a rather robust social life and searching for, or spending time with, that “special someone.” All of that commitment leaves little time to sleep, let alone devote any amount of time to yourself. I’d like to think that I’m a pretty cool person, so it’s disappointing that I’m shutting me out of my life.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to make it all work. Or is there?! Over the past few months I’ve made a few changes so that I can have my cake and eat it to. I’ve noticed that making more time for myself is actually helping my work performance and I’d like to think I’ve become a better friend and girlfriend. I get less side-tracked and don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much. The hardest part? Actually sticking to my “me time” schedule. It’s easy to forget that it’s OK to put ourselves first.
Here are a few things that I started doing to ensure I never hit my threshold and begin hating the entire human population for taking me away from me:
- Going to the gym in the morning. OK, don’t stop reading now. I know the gym can be a royal pain in the buttocks (most often literally), but spending an hour each morning working out or going for an early run can help you think straight, talk to yourself (it’s not that weird) and put yourself in positive mindset for the rest of the day.
- Eating out alone. Have you ever been to lunch or dinner and realized that you didn’t enjoy your meal? If you’re like me, you inhaled it so that you’d have more time for conversation (which I once read also leads to weight gain because you eat too fast). Eating alone, whether in or out, is a great way to collect your thoughts and enjoy some fine cuisine. (and put that cell phone away!)
- Living alone. I know this isn’t always feasible for career girls my age, but if you can afford it, do it! I recently moved into a studio apartment just outside of D.C. and I absolutely love it. While it’s small and quiet, it’s quickly become my “me time” haven.
- Dancing. I’ll admit it may be a little weird to go out dancing by yourself, especially if you’re like me and your only moves consist of the “grocery cart” and the “pencil sharpener.” Oh and let’s not forget “the lunge” (don’t ask!). But I’ve found dancing around my apartment when I get ready for work, or in the shower back when I had a roommate, is like chicken soup for the Career Girl soul.
- Reading. Surprisingly, this one was really hard yet pretty beneficial when I told myself I needed more alone time. After starring at a computer screen for 10 hours at work, I figured the last thing I wanted to do was read a book full of words on words on words. But there’s something so wonderful about reading a book and stepping out of reality for an hour or so before bed that makes me feel great.
- Eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching a RomCom in your comfiest (albeit ugliest) sweats and painting your nails on a weekday evening. No explanation necessary.
Whether it improves your work performance, makes you a better friend, or, most importantly, makes you a happier person, spending time with just yourself is very much worth it. I’ve noticed it helps me with all of the above – so try it out sometime!