When people think of being healthy, they often just think of eating healthier and exercising. The most important part of the equation though is taking care of our emotional behaviors that can often cause stress and anxiety that in turn can cause us to create excuses for why we can’t engage in healthy behaviors (“no time”, “I’m too tired”). That is why it is vitally important to provide yourself with “me” time everyday to help deal with stress before it sabotages your health goals.
Now you might say to yourself, “If I barely have time to eat healthy and exercise, how will I find the time to have ‘me’ time?” This is your negative thinking counterpart whispering in your ear again telling you that you can’t possibly make this healthy lifestyle work because it is different than what you are used to. The fact is that you can make “me” time available if it is truly important for you to live a healthier, more balanced life.
Taking “me” time can be just 15 minutes a day, and you can even break this up into 3, 5-minute increments throughout the day. “Me” time can include:
- Shutting the door of your office or bedroom to have time to yourself, stretching your arms, neck, back, and legs while taking a few deep breaths and clearing all thoughts from your mind
- Looking out a window, looking at the beautiful sky, sunshine, and animals of nature, while just clearing your mind of all the stresses of the day
- Reading a book for a bit to escape from your daily stresses
- Having “tea time” where you drink a hot cup of tea or coffee alone thinking of nothing else except for the beverage you are drinking and the silence around you
These versions of “me” time are just some of the ways you can “reboot” yourself so you can handle the rest of your day with a little more ease. Taking this little bit of a “time-out” each day helps us to gather our thoughts and, particularly if faced with a stressful situation, allows us to “act before reacting.” In other words, “me” time allows us to escape stressful situations, take a minute to really think through the situation before over-reacting by saying or doing something to others that we will regret later.
Time is a valuable commodity to many people, so it can be overwhelming to think that you will have to give up more time to creating a healthy lifestyle to “me” time. Be sure never to think of “me” time as a chore though. Your mental and emotional health is directly linked to your physical health, so it should be as important to you as sleeping, eating, and exercising. If you start taking more care of your emotions, the health of your body will easily follow.