You work full time, you volunteer, you have kids, a significant other, parents. There’s laundry, and groceries and yard work. It seems like there are always a million things to do, and yet, those days still only last 24 hours each. Oh, yeah, and you should probably eat and sleep, too.
Many of us, as responsible adults, find ourselves giving most or all of our energy to other people and places. While much of it is necessary and even admirable, it’s not always healthy. Yet somehow, we tend to feel selfish and guilty if we take some time for ourselves.
But here’s my take on it; if I’m stressed, tired, hungry or just plain grumpy, I’m not able to give my best to all those other people or tasks. I truly feel that carving out time for myself makes me a happier, more productive photographer and person.
While we all have different ideas of how to use “me-time”, here are my top 5:
- Exercise – It doesn’t matter if it’s a brisk walk or a long run, but if I get my body moving I ALWAYS feel good when I’m done. Physical activity allows me to gain energy and relieve stress. Recently I’ve started working out with my kettle bell and it’s a blast!
- Spend Time Outside – Protect your skin of course, but we all need that Vitamin D, so I like to take in the sights and sounds around me. A favorite place is my parents’ new deck that looks out past the backyard at the cornfield. In the evening the sun sets over the hills past the cornfield, and there is nothing like the sounds of birds and the breeze, and fresh air.
- Bubble Bath – This has always been a go-to stress reliever of mine. The warm, soapy water eases those tired muscles and although I could use a deeper and longer tub a nice bubble bath with a bath bomb from Lush and lavender essential oil is heavenly.
- Turn off the Technology – I can’t tell you the last time I watched TV. Yes, I’ve had a favorite show here and there, and in the winter, I may turn it on for a bit, but I find there are so many other things to do in life that to me, it’s a waste to sit in front of the television. I also try to turn off all electronics (yes, even my phone) by a certain time each night or for a large majority of the weekend. This is a tough one, especially when you’re self-employed, but even doing this once in a while brings me a sense of peace.
- Read a Book – I used to hate reading. It was such a chore in high school and I wasn’t interested in most of the books that were assigned. Lately, however, I’ve taken a large interest in self-help books. This stuff is fascinating to me and it’s relatable content to incorporate into everyday life. My two favorites to this day are: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. As a matter of fact, if anyone out there has any suggestions for good reads, leave a comment here. I’m always looking for that next great book!
What are some of your favorite self care activities? I’m always looking for something new to try! Leave a comment below and let me know!