The Importance of “Me” Time

January 10, 2010

As excited as I am for the new year and all that I will be accomplishing, I’ve found myself feeling “out of sorts” this past week. My creativity, focus and drive have vanished, I’ve avoided all unnecessary contact and conversation with people and find myself staring blankly in total silence. Craving unhealthy foods, a constant desire to sleep and a somewhat fussy attitude… all signs point to a burnout.

Burnout: fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from
prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.

Prolonged stress, check. Overwork, check. Intense activity… I’ll give that a check considering the constant talking, socialization and outgoing energy are a major drain to my introverted self.

I recently took on a new role with a company I do work for, and while I love it, I have also allowed it to absorb a great deal of my work week. At the same time, we are experiencing an influx of new projects with our design business which requires my time on a creative and business level. Add to that the many goals and projects of the new year, an exercise routine and household chores… mix in the holidays and a vacation and you can clearly see the cause(s) for my current state.

Because I believe strongly in personal responsibility and asking myself “how did I allow this to happen” I am able to realize it is my lack of boundaries, time management and self respect that caused this little mess of spirits. Boundaries and time management can be solved with a simple schedule. Set work hours, workout routine, social days and date nights. Self respect comes through taking time to nurture myself. For me, alone time is extremely important to my well being. Rarely do I give myself that time.

Recently I found inspiration for the perfect weekly Me Date. Having commuted most of my college and professional life, I became accustomed to that time alone in my car with my music, on a long stretch of road with no stops. During these times I have my best ideas, deepest moments and most accurate reflections. I have been unable to emulate these drives in any other way. Since moving to working at home full time, I have found the beach to be an amazing way to de-stress. Just sitting with my toes in the sand, playing in the water or listening to the woosh of the waves calms me.

Pairing these two things together gave me the idea to “commute” to a beach 30 – 40min from my house once a week. Not only do I get the benefit of alone time in my car to do my thing, but driving that distance will entice me to set up at the beach for longer than an hour to swim, sunbath, read, write… whatever my heart desires. It helps me commit to this time alone rather than just a short jaunt there and back before throwing myself into some other task.

What stress reducing, energizing and fun things can you pair together for your perfect Me Date? Take some time to think about this question… Give a few things a try, but most definitely take the time to plan and schedule yourself a Me Date every week.

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