Me Time: Taking care of yourself makes it easier to take care of others (gasp!)
Introduction and infographic by Aryn Henning Nichols • Originally published in the Winter 2015-16 Inspire(d)
Learning how to live generously is really important work, but before you can do that, you need to be generous with yourself. It’s that whole “secure your oxygen mask before helping others,” thing, and it should be the highest priority on your list. Because you can’t do a good job helping others if you’re tired, worn-out, scattered, or cranky.
That’s right, people, you need spend some time on YOU! Lately, I’ve been repeating the mantra, “if I’m not healthy, I can’t give.” Getting yourself healthy can mean a lot of things – eating right, exercising, stretching, meditating, getting counseling – and only you can know what it’ll take. We’d like to suggest, for starters, Me Time – i.e. Downtime, solitude, play, fun, relaxation, idle moments.
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider writes in a 2012 New York Times piece, The Busy Trap. “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration – it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
And remember that Me Time is different for everyone – some folks might feel like an hour at the gym is an escape, while others feel it’s totally torture. Respect what your self is saying. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to meditate, get some classes on the schedule. If you need to unwind with an hour of Property Brothers every day, then make it so. Afternoon naps make you feel like the shining sun? Do it! Don’t feel guilty – know that by taking care of you, you’ll better be able to take care of others. And you will. Because that’s the kind of place in which we live.
Check out this fun infographic for Me Time ideas and tips!