Monday, April 18, 2011

So what is this "me time" they speak of?

Is “me time” - at all - even possible or is it part of how we wish things could be?

Here are a few possibilities:

1. “Me time” is totally possible; it’s just to what degree, when, and how often. I mean, even if it’s 4 in the morning, you can probably sneak off to the shower. You can stand there without interruptions and release all of the stress from your mind. (Now, if you have 5 kids who are very light sleepers, maybe it’s on to plan B.) Maybe it happens at the end of the day. You're on your way to pick up the kids. You park your car 10 blocks away. Throw on some headphones. Turn up the music full blast. Walk slow for the last 15 minutes. Have a moment before the chaos begins. When you do pick them up, spend some time. Share some stories as you walk to the car. Use it as a chance to connect.

2. Maybe “me time” is more like small moments. You’re running your kids to soccer. Your work is piling up on your desk. You're a caregiver between doctor's visits. At this point it’s more about crunch time. But here’s the thing: Maybe you can’t make that run to the spa. Maybe you just don't have time for vacation. But there is time for small possibilities. Step outside for a second. You may literally have just a second. Take a deep breath in and then out. Then quickly throw a smile on your face. Instant revival for the journey ahead.

3. You don’t have to do “me time” alone. Even if you’re with other people, you can still bring yourself to the table. Jump in the conversation. Tell a funny story you forgot to tell earlier. For dinner make your favorite dessert. There are ways to reflect who you are, while sharing your experiences with others. You can make “me time” a family affair. Make a great big family collage – where each person wants to go, what they want to do, the expression they would have on their face.

4. “Me time” doesn’t have to be “real”. Find a postcard of your dream destination. Hang it right up on your wall. Download the sound of steel drums on your phone. When you get home, make yourself a coconut smoothie. Create a week filled with mini staycations.

5. In the end “me time” is about making choices. It’s about being fun and creative. Don’t focus so much on ideal, but on the moments that allow you to flow.

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