If you were given a rare hour to yourself, how would you spend it? Would you start reading one of the novels you’ve purchased, but as of yet have sat in a pile unread? Start the craft project that’s seemingly been on your to-do list forever? Take a yoga class? Or simply run yourself a hot bath, close the door and spend an hour totally alone? Would you even know where to begin?
Had you asked me that question a few years back, I wouldn’t have had the slightest clue how to spend ‘me’ time. Being a self employed single Mother to four children, time for myself was something that had long ago slipped off my agenda, having been taken over by washing, cleaning, school runs, work & numerous miscellaneous errands. Whenever I did get an evening to myself I was too exhausted to do anything much and would rather grab an early night than savour that time.
The sad truth is that I’d often set aside time for myself, but it would be this time that would be the first to go whenever something ‘cropped up’ which inevitably it did. My time was always sacrificed for the greater good and while at the time it seemed it was the only option I became resentful and depressed.
I recent study has found that the average Mother gets just 17 minutes of ‘me time’ a day. The study found those few minutes of peace were usually spent in front of the TV or in bed reading with a good old British cupppa.
MOTHERS TOP WAYS TO SPEND ‘ME’ TIME
1. Read a book
2. Cup of tea
3. Watch soaps
4. Have a doze
5. Browse Facebook/Twitter
6. Online shopping
7. Candlelit bath
8. Watch TV relaxing in bed
9. Watch a film
10. Clean the house / clear out cupboards / rearrange furniture
11. Drink wine
12. Eat chocolate
13. Go for a walk/run
14. Go shopping
15. Write a list
16. Listen to music or the radio in peace
17. Go out with friends
18. Read the paper / newspapers
19. Play computer games/apps
20. Paint nails
Even those of us that have the luxury of more free time find it difficult to relax when we know there are unfinished chores that need completing and we struggle to justify spending it on ourselves, regarding taking time out as indulgent or selfish.
Barbel Mohr, author of the best selling book, Miracle of Self Love, states the importance of asking the question “What do I actually want?” as we have often simply adapted our lifestyle to the conventions of our environment without thought. Loving yourself enough to give yourself the time and space you need, isn’t selfish. Far from it! Imagine trying to draw water from an almost empty well. If you don’t allow that well to refill from time to time, eventually it’s going to run dry and won’t be of use to anyone. Imagine looking after yourself and taking you time as replenishing ‘your’ well. In doing so, you’ll be a happier, healthier, more content version of yourself and that not only benefits you, but everyone around you.
If you’re not used to having ‘me time’, I challenge you to take 30 uninterrupted minutes a day to do whatever you please. If you can’t think of anything to do to start with, sit somewhere quiet with a pen and paper and start to think of all the things you’d like to do. Take that 30 minutes without fail and see all the ways loving yourself can improve your life and relationships.
Love and Light