A recurring theme over the last few weeks were some of my clients’ inability to have “me time” without feeling the guilt. We spend our time rushing from A to B, picking up children, working long hours, seeking a family, home and work life balance and when we finally have the chance to take time out, we are too tired or wired to enjoy the time. When we neglect ourselves, life’s enjoyments diminish exponentially.
“What about me?” needs asking. Is allowing yourself to have some time out being selfish and a cause for guilt?
The response I normally get when I ask “do you do something that is just for you”? Is that it is hard to do because there are not enough hours in the day or I feel guilty when I do, as I could be doing more important things. How can someone then take time for themselves without that guilt hanging over their heads. The first step is to give yourself permission to factor in “timeout”. When we were children or teenagers we thrived in the pursuit of pleasure and we didn’t ask permission. It would give us a sense of joy and purpose. Adults who regularly allow themselves “timeout” are more often optimistic, energetic and confident. Life presents challenges and is difficult at times and time flies by in the blink of an eye. So, give distance to the the guilt! Nothing is gained by feeling guilty and this feeling just reduces the experience. If you have a jam-packed diary, factor in 5-10 minutes or more if you can, of something, anything, once a day. Then add in more small timeout sessions. These could be reading a book or listening to your favourite song. I am not suggesting pampering sessions that last for hours, but taking time out for yourself is extremely important.
You are not being selfish if you do an exercise class and turn off your phone; you are not being selfish if you go to the hairdresser or take a stroll without a care in the world. If you are one of these people who feel guilty, even a sense of shame, best ask yourself what you would tell a close friend if they were struggling with the same thing. This should hopefully lead to the right resolve just for you. There is nothing wrong in saying “what about me?” but then do something about it and don’t keep on asking the question. There are simple pleasures in life if we look around but we all differ in what gives us enjoyment. So ask yourself what can I do that is just for me? Here are a few Zestfulness responses to “What About Me?”
* Reading/writing * Learning a new language * Enjoying coffee without checking the phone * Exercise class or workout * Trying a new restaurant * Going for a walk * Having a manicure For personal growth and to enjoy a Zestful life, take some time out that is just for you.