How "Me Time" Can Help You Start a Mindfulness Practice
One frequent question we have received from readers is “what are some easy ways to start managing stress and implementing a mindfulness practice daily?” This is a great question as starting a mindfulness practice that works for you is going to vary from what works for someone else. For instance, just because meditating for an hour works for a friend doesn’t mean that will be the best fit for you. The key is creating a practice that fits your needs. So instead of diving headfirst into meditation or yoga, we suggest starting small. One simple way to get started is starting with time management.
If you are like most people, you make time for everything you HAVE to do like business meetings, picking the kids up from school, answering emails, phone calls, you name it, the list can go on and on. But, you may not always make time for things you want to do like making time for self-care, “me time,” or giving yourself a moment to RESSET.
And here is the unavoidable truth - If you do not make time for it, it will not happen.
For myself, when I first began practicing mindfulness and meditation, it was essential for me to give myself time right when I wake up and just before I go to bed for “me time.” In the morning, I love to use this time to meditate and recite my mantra and as a result, it sets me up for a happier and more productive day. And in the evening, I find it essential to give myself time away from electronic devices where I can unwind from the busy day. Generally, I try to use this time to read or journal.
This is just one example of how you can schedule time for yourself. You do not have to do it in the morning or evening, in fact, you could do it at lunch or during your coffee break, whatever works best for your schedule. The key here is just making the time to do it and making it part of your daily routine.
Research has shown that taking time for yourself can increase productivity, reduce stress and increase creativity. One experiment conducted at BCG, for example, found that having employees take days, nights, or extended periods of time off increased productivity. And other studies show that brief periods of downtime, like afternoon naps, can restore focus and energy.
So here is our tip for you - take out your iPhone, Android, pocket calendar or wherever you schedule your time and block off 1 to 3 times a day where you can do something just for you. This will be your time to participate in some form of self-care: meditate, read, journal, nap, go for a walk, the options are endless.
Now some of you may be thinking, that is the easy part blocking off time, but are at a loss for what to do during this time. This is completely normal as for many people creating time for ourselves is so foreign, we don’t even know what it looks like. If this is the case for you, we suggest grabbing a RESSET card and trying out a couple of different techniques. This will help you see what works for you.