The Importance of Taking More “Me Time” by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Many of us do an excellent job of taking care of everyone else, yet neglecting our own needs. In fact, many people actually feel guilty about doing things for themselves, especially if it means they might have to say “no” to the need of another, even temporarily, to do so. However, what many people don’t realize is that those people who must take care of others, whether their family, or their business, can be more effective at being the caretaker if they care for themselves first. After all, as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

Here are three reasons why you need to make time for yourself and make your own needs a priority.

1. You can avoid burnout. None of us can go on indefinitely without taking a little time away. Eventually, your lack of attention to yourself will result in poor decisions, frustration or giving up on your goals. By taking a little bit of time for yourself regularly, you can stay recharged.

2. You can look at problems with a fresh eye. When you take a little time away, you can often find perspective on your biggest problems when you come back to them. Very often, the things that seem impossible to solve or catastrophic seem much less problematic once you’ve stepped away for a little while.

3. You can help others more genuinely. When you are constantly meeting only the needs of others, you can begin to resent those who depend on you. Once you’ve given yourself a chance to have a little personal down time, you’ll find you are able to take care of others happily again.
Giving yourself down time doesn’t always mean doing something radical. Sometimes taking a moment to enjoy a glass of wine before moving on to your next task can be the break you need. Rediscovering an old hobby you’ve neglected can help to refresh your mind. Having a date night with your significant other or reading a book just for fun are also ways you can recharge and take care of yourself. Do whatever works for you….but make it a point to make your own needs as much of a priority as the needs of others in your life.