Sometimes you just need to disconnect and enjoy your own company.
When is your “me time”? Do you enjoy quiet time between the end of dinner and the beginning of sleep?
At the end of the day, we may be full of emotions that need to be processed, like anxiety (from work or school). Are we exhausted from running around all day so that, when we get home, we just want to zone out and turn to behaviors that allow us to turn our brains off, like social media, sugar, alcohol, or television? At the end of the day, it’s hard to say no to these behaviors since we’re fresh out of willpower.
There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, of course. Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, the author of Body Kindness, states that “All too often, we’re mindlessly engaging in these behaviors, night after night, not truly enjoying them and sometimes waking up feeling guilty, which is the opposite of how me time should leave us feeling.” Are we sure that we didn’t really enjoy that spoonful of ice cream straight out of the carton?
Think back to when you were a kid. Did your mom have these me-time issues? There wasn’t always an expectation that women deserved time to themselves in the first place. In today’s world, we know better. Self-care is important, and we all need time to decompress. But with emails around the clock and perhaps unwelcome political posts on Facebook that you can’t seem to ignore, we need to find time to relax.
Relaxation, if done correctly, enhances productivity, creativity, and concentration. One way to feeling relaxed and well rested is to simply go to sleep early. Dr. Lisa Medalie, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist, states “Without the six to nine hours they may need each night, people become prone to irritability, [acceleration] of depression and anxiety, increased appetite, and sugar cravings.” To help prioritize sleep (short of setting an alarm on your calendar), try reframing early bedtime as a treat. Instead of thinking “I don’t have time for sleep; I have too much to do,” tell yourself “Sleep is the best thing I can do for myself. If I go to bed now, I’ll feel so much better in the morning.”
If getting under the covers during prime time seems unimaginable, schedule a bed-centric me-time activity. Perhaps read a book in bed and obey your eyelids when they grow heavy. For me, that would take about five minutes.