Friday, January 21, 2011

Balancing Act

There is something I want to clarify for fear that I may have sparked some crazy ideas in your head. Embarking on a journey to nurture, discover, and appreciate your "Me", while being a task that you should devote yourself to daily, does not mean that caring for your self is the only thing that you should be focusing on from now on (although sometimes I do fancy a mother-tantrum of giant proportion when I fantasize telling everyone and everything that I'm just done, going away to finally take care of Me and I'll come back when I feel like it!). I'm not asking you to reverse the trend from days spent taking care of everyone else with no time for yourself, to days where your only focus is to take care of yourself at the expense of others. Once we start listening to our needs, and making time for our selves, it can be very hard not to want to devote hours to reconnecting with "Me". But life, unfortunately, does not provide us with such quality time.

The idea is to create balance in your life by including all the roles you assume in your day, while still leaving a chunck of time dedicated to you (which is, by the way, non negotiable). That chunck of time might be 1 minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour, it doesn't matter as long as you make it a priority every day to nurture your self while living your busy life. Life is not going to get less busy, so you might as well make it a point to create space for yourself in your busy schedule. That sometimes means reassessing commitments you are considering or have made, and saying "NO" to things that come in the way of your time for "Me". You choose how you spend your time, don't let others direct your schedule. And really, it's ok to say "no" to that appointment time and reschedule it for a day that fits your schedule better. It might be hard to say "no" at first, but it gets easier once you realize how empowering it is to be in control of your time.  

This scale really looks like someone holding plates with strong arms. Make sure your time for "Me" weighs in with the rest of the items on your "to-do" list.

 Which on a day-to-day basis can be a really difficult thing to do, especially when busy days abound. So how can you create moments for yourself every day? I find that planning my day the night before and trying to fit "Me" in the schedule helps a lot. And though some days I don't have a lot of extended periods of time when I'm able to have some time to myself, if I can steal even 2 minutes a few times a day (which means that sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom for peace and quiet!), then I feel like I have taken care of "Me".

Here are some ideas for "Me" time:
- If you only have a few minutes: Find a quiet place, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, listen to the silence and say a few positive affirmations such as "I am great." "I am powerful". "I am worthy". "I matter". "I love "Me" just as I am"
- If you have 10 minutes: Listen to some great music, read a chapter of a book, read some inspiring quotes that strengthen your love for "Me", go for a quick brisk walk, dance.
- If you have an hour: Meditate, have a nap, exercise, nourish your body with food/drink, sit quietly and observe the world around you, journal, just "be".

The sky is the limit when it comes to deciding how to use your "Me" time. Making a list of things that make you happy ahead of time can help you choose what you feel most like doing. Sometimes having 10 minutes of "Me" time can bring on the indecision about how to best use this long-awaited and needed break (similar to having writer's block while facing a blank page). By being prepared, you can jump right in and indulge in some well-deserved pampering.

Today, for my "Me" time, I exercised and made some bread. While the bread-making wasn't done just by myself, it was nurturing to make bread from scratch which I knew would be good for my body. And making it with Logan also nurtured me as we shared a fun activity together. So as you can see, sometimes you can combine me-time with other "to-dos" and still feel completely like you've made yourself a priority in the scale of life.

What did you do for your "Me" today?


  1. Another great post! I love all the practical suggestions and strategies, I'm thinking about them and trying to include them in my every day. Thanks!

  2. Congratulations on your newest project! Love the blog banner and the content thus far.
    My ME time is usually taken on the weekend: on at least one of the weekend mornings, I awaken and hear the girls downstairs watching tv or playing. I sneak out of bed so as not to wake my husband, and take my book and a big mug of lovely coffee to the sunroom. If I can get an hour of reading time, while occasionally looking up at the birds and sky outside, and stroking one or both of my cats..then I am refueled!
    I try to read before bed as well, once the house is tucked in for the night, but then I usually pass out within minutes! Oh well...I can keep trying.