So many of us get into the habit of overdoing it. Maybe we find ourselves staying late at the office every day and getting there first thing in the morning; or taking on an extra side job because we’re all about the hustle. Maybe overdoing it for you means never saying “sorry, I don’t have time” when asked to contribute to x,y, and z.
We’re here to debunk the idea that if you don’t answer that email while off the clock or skip out on that dinner party early, that you’re not “putting in the hours”.
In a go, go, go world it’s important to take stock in how you feel both mentally and physically every once in a while. Switching up your daily routine to incorporate more of what makes you feel good and connected to your own body and health, has been shown to make us better at work, better at parenting, better at, well, everything.
But it all starts with committing to a little “me time”.
Spend some solo time in nature
Spending time alone allows us the space to quiet our to-do list and connect with our own thoughts and feelings. To really reap the benefits of this exercise, consider leaving technology at home and spend a little time with nature.
Mother Nature is a valuable resource for personal health, and studies have shown that even the smallest amount of tech-free time in nature improves mood, health, and longevity.
Before checking your phone or computer in the morning try taking a few minutes to stretch and work off the veil of sleepiness before heading outside. Spending 20 minutes or more outside first thing in the morning is proven to increase creativity, reduce stress, and get your blood pumping for the rest of the day.
Make your commute about you
Create a morning playlist that gets you pumped for the day. Whether you have an hour long commute or you just need a little extra jolt on your way to the gym, make your music your cheerleader.
Music is a fantastic tool when it comes to boosting one’s mood and it makes spending time alone seem less isolating. So go ahead add that song you love to belt out…sing like no one is listening.
Not the type to be caught at a red light drumming on your steering wheel? Why not give podcasts a try? Consider an audiobook that is just for you. Maybe it is an inspiring memoir or a purely entertaining romance, or maybe it’s that book that you always meant to read. Whatever it is, it’s for you.
Meditate your way to a better “Me”
One of the benefits of spending time alone is its ability to allow our brains to think deeper. Ever notice how some of your most profound thoughts and ideas come to mind while in the shower?
Think of that type of calm isolation you feel while taking a shower and now picture being able to manifest that regardless of where you are. Enter meditation.
A meditation practice can help you to feel more connected internally and allow you to approach daily stressors with grace and patience. It won’t happen overnight, but taking even 10 minutes a day–morning or night, it doesn’t matter–has been shown to drastically change your mental and emotional health.
Disconnect for a day
Notifications, emails, emojis, texts, phone calls–it’s A LOT, but it’s our world now. Well, it doesn’t have to be 24/7.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people trying to connect with you on a daily basis then maybe it’s time to take a virtual leave of absence. Pick one day out of the week to leave your worries, fears, and electronic devices behind.
Grab a book and go sit in the sun for the day. Enjoy a phone-free dinner date. Go sit in the park and just watch the world go by. Trust that you aren’t missing anything for a day or even just an hour. Just disconnect.
However you choose to focus on you, remember that it’s not selfish – it’s necessary.