This is an interesting one but something I really wanted to talk about this week. Whether it means spending an entire Sunday vegging out in your favourite pjs, trying to avoid all signs of humanity or city breaking with your better half (BF or BFF!) over a long weekend, ‘Me Time’ exists in many different forms. This week I read Stylist’s take on what ‘me time’ means for two of their contributors and thought why not bring the discussion to this table.
‘Me Time’ is important. I would say that most people agree with this, but how we spend the time can be totally different for everyone. I would say first and foremost, it really depends what your job is, what other commitments you have and ultimately how much time you have on your hands.
I currently work a 9-5 office job so my ‘me time’ is outside of these hours. I would call myself a morning person, in that I feel my best and most productive before eight o’clock which means I often like to be on my own and set myself up for the day early on. Time keeping is important to me, so waking up early and getting things off my list so early in the day is my idea of heaven. Even on a Sunday, if I have been out the night before, I like to get up and feel like I’m ahead of everyone else. There’s also this magical thirty minutes between the hours of about six and seven in the morning, most mornings, where it can often seem like you are the only person around..the golden hour of peace and self love.. or sometimes its actually an extra thirty minutes snooze, whatever feels right.
However, this productive, proactive part of me can often disappear for weeks on end. I can find it very hard to motivate myself sometimes and I’m sure like most people, I feel all the guilt that follows days like this. For me, this is the most important time to stop and work out what it is I need and why I’m feeling the way I am. Maybe I need a few days away from charging through my to do list and thinking about the next thing that is waiting for me.. or maybe I’m being lazy. Whatever it is, I know for my mental health that I need to stop, take some me time and reset.
One of the contributors of the article spoke about her fear of being alone and that her me time really is giving or spending time with other people. I know a few people in my life that are like this and admittedly have always wondered how they don’t crave alone time. But this is exactly it, me time and alone time are not comparable as they are totally different concepts that very often get confused. Me time can be hanging with your friends or going to gym class or gig with a room full of people – its whatever you feel you need and want to do for yourself.
I like to think I can mostly feel empowered to say no to plans or leaving the house when I know I want to be alone. I often hear people at work, including myself, squirm when others ask if they fancy going for a drink after five o’clock and make up an excuse that they’re too tired or ‘have plans’. Why do people feel embarrassed to just say they are going to go home to do nothing? Is it because we are all too polite and afraid to offend one another (here’s to being British!) or do we still feel like it’s lame to spend time on looking after ourselves? We’re more than happy to get down the gym or go for run to spend time on our bodies, what about our minds and our mental health?
Ultimately, I think me time comes in different forms but really it should come hand in hand with the concept of self love and whatever this may mean for YOU. Ultimately you are taking time for what you think you need and looking after your mind and body in your own way. To quote stylist (and Birkbeck University) “me time must be “high-quality”, meaning the participant has to feel as if they’ve been enriched by the experience” and here’s to a load more of that!