Monday, 16 November 2009

The Importance of Enjoying 'Me-time'


The other morning, I was walking past a local cafe and saw a mum I knew sitting in the window, sipping on a coffee and reading a newspaper. I gave her a wave and thought to myself how nice to just be able to go have a coffee and enjoy a bit of 'me time' in the morning. Her two children had already been dropped off at school and she works part-time so was probably on her way to work.

As a mother, and as a stay-at-home mother particularly, 'me time' can be hard to come by. There are opportunities of course and it's important to take as many of these as you can. Maybe a family member or friend is able to come over to babysit for an hour or so while you go out to get a haircut or meet a friend for coffee. If your child goes to nursery or school and you're not at work, you can do a little something for yourself amidst the daily chores. After the little ones have gone to bed is another good time, as are weekends when Dad is at home. You can get out by yourself or even stay in but do something relaxing and indulgent for yourself.

By 'me time', I mean time to yourself to spend as you like. That might be alone time; going for a walk or a coffee to enjoy some quiet and be with your own thoughts. It might be seeing friend for a chat and laughter over dinner or a glass of wine. Maybe you use your 'me time' for a bit of pampering like a well-deserved massage. Whatever you choose to do, the important part is to feel like that bit of time is all yours.

Even an hour can be a nice break and gives you a chance to step back from the day-to-day routine. 'Me time' helps you recharge and feel energised. It gives you a respite from monotony and the humdrum. I know whenever I get out for some 'me time', I return feeling lighter, happier and enthused to be back with my family doing all the regular things.

To help you get the most out of your 'me time', I've come up with these four tips:
  • Schedule it. Put a time in your diary and stick to it to ensure you don't miss out. This is especially important if you don't have family or friends nearby to help out with babysitting as it's easy for the time to pass without you getting a breather.
  • Plan it. Decide how you want to use your 'me time' so you don't waste any of it.
  • Mix it up. If you usually use your 'me time' to catch up with friends, be sure to allocate some time that's for you alone. It's good to have a bit of quiet time for yourself too and really helps you relax and recharge.
  • Encourage it. Everyone needs their 'me time' so help your husband/partner fit in his fair share too. You'll get the benefit of their time out too when they come back energised and feeling in a good mood.

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