Mental Health Blog

Why Taking Time to Yourself Is Time Well Spent

"Taking care of yourself doesn't mean me first, it means me too." -L.R. Knost

Often, we make time committing ourselves to plans, our jobs, school, etc. But, when do we really make time for ourselves? 

Maybe this is in part, due to feeling guilty about putting yourself before others.  Let’s break that notion. One should never feel guilty about taking care of themselves and feel as if “me-time” is a luxury, rather than a priority. We all need it. 

The truth is, alone time is not something that should scare away anyone (even extroverts). Everyone can benefit from varying degrees of “me-time.”  

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are never to fully rely on external conditions such as people to make us happy. There are times in life when we have to learn, no matter how difficult, how to be content with just our own company. 

If anything, the one takeaway I would want you to take from this post is that you deserve, you need to set aside time for yourself. Whether it be 10-15 minutes to 1-2 hours to a whole day. 

All that matters is that you take advantage of that time alone and use it as an opportunity to better your overall wellness.

Why Is It So Important to Take Time for Ourselves?

It’s time to block out time in your life and say “yes” to yourself. Here’s why: 

  1. You get to know who you are

It seems quite simple, really. I mean, how do we get to know the people in our lives? We spend time with them. Often, like many, I am left not really knowing how to respond to the question “who are you?” if it requires more than my name and age. However, I have found that by taking the time to enjoy my own company, I am getting to know myself better, as I would with a friend. I have begun to look forward to “me-time” and gaining a better view and understanding of what my goals are, what I enjoy, etc. 

It also allows us to get in touch and deal with how we are truly feeling that week. 

In essence, with “me-time” comes an increased self-awareness. 

        2. You get to take a breather

Taking a breather once in a while to just sit back and do nothing is actually, contrary to what we may think, not counter productive. In fact, think of “me-time” as a way to give your brain the “reboot” it needs. 

It also helps develop a work-life balance that many, including me especially struggle with. Often, we are caught up in a stressful life where we feel as if it is all “go.” Taking time to ourselves allows us to stop, relax, and enjoy life a little more. 

       3. Your source of happiness becomes independent of others

At first, spending time alone can seem weird as it is foreign for many. However, the more time you invest into “me-time,” the more it becomes something you look forward to after a long day or week. 

You will no longer feel like there is nothing to look forward to when your friends are busy, as you will still have your own company to enjoy. 

This is when we take those steps closer to experiencing true joy. A joy that does not come and go depending on who we are around, or where we are, as it is found  within ourselves. 

        4. It strengthens our relationships with others

By contributing time to taking care of yourself, you are better able to develop and harness the positive relationships in your life. Not only are you becoming a better you, but you are also, at the same time, becoming a better friend, family member, coworker, etc. This, in turn, allows you to cultivate stronger relationships, where you are able to also bring out the best in your loved ones (proving that “me-time” is not only beneficial for you).

How to Spend Your “Me-Time”:
  • read a book
  • get up earlier to have even a few minutes to yourself
  • listen to music
  • watch (or re-watch) that favourite show of yours
  • try out a new recipe for yourself 
  • give that new hobby you’ve been interested in a shot
  • journal
  • listen to a podcast
  • meditate
  • go for a walk or hike 
  • take a nap
  • try out a Paint by Numbers kit
  • make your own bucket list
  • pamper yourself 
  • do a quick workout

These are only some of the many activities you may choose to partake in the next time you schedule out time for yourself!

So, while yes, it is evident that many do not get enough “me-time” each week, the question is: how will you change that for yourself this coming week?

 Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.

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