Most of us spend our days consumed with work and people who demand our concentration. We rarely afford ourselves the proper nurture and care that we so easily give out to others. Yet this “me time” is important for our own growth and development. More and more studies are proving that taking time for oneself is beneficial.
One Harvard study finds that alone time actually improves one’s memory, while another study on athletes found that they perform better with proper down time, ie. relaxation. An associate professor at Bucknell University found that not only is alone time important to collect one’s thoughts, but that not enough students are doing so. If students get into a pattern of not having down-time, this pattern is only likely to repeat post graduation. And I see so much of this happening all over the place. Too much work, too busy of social lives, too many obligations to really give the body time to rest from all of the mayhem.
So how do we learn to take time for ourselves? It takes some real mindfulness and ability to say “no” more often than you would like to as well as to put away digital devices more often than you would like to. Here are some tips to improve your success and ultimately your own happiness:
- Schedule your ‘me’ time. In order to get into a routine, you have to make time for yourself and treat it just like any other appointment.
- Say ‘no’ to group lunch outings more and spend some quality time decompressing. You may find you have more energy to complete your work day.
- Schedule yourself stretching breaks at work. If you are living in San Diego, working full-time you get 2 ten minute breaks per day. Use these! Put your phone away and move your body more, you’ll maintain posture, increase digestion and keep the body happy for longer.
- Learn to meditate. You start by closing your eyes and focusing solely on your breath and your body. Over time you find that you can focus for longer periods of time resulting in meditation.
- Get that massage, pedicure, acupuncture or spa appointment! Treat the body well and it will treat you well!
- Get your sleep. Yes sleep is also your alone time.
- Get out and see nature. Take in the beauty of this world.
- Sit down with a good book in an epsom salt bath.
I try to do all of the above to increase my productivity and lower my stress level. So relax and enjoy!