By Jenny Allen
Some women find happiness by taking off for exotic, far-flung places — think of Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, circling the globe. Gretchen Rubin, on the other hand, found it right at home. Rubin, a New York City lawyer turned writer, didn't want to roam; she had a husband she was crazy about, two young daughters, a lovely home, a close extended family, good friends, and a satisfying career. She had, in short, a grown-up life.
Which she loved — but, she admits,...
You may think "it's all about me" is selfish. But consider this: Other people benefit from your "me time," too. Do things that feed you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and you'll bring greater patience and a more positive attitude to your relationships. You’ll become a better parent, spouse, and a more effective team player at work.
Take a page from your calendar, literally. Every week, look at your calendar and book some me time.
Can't find an hour to devote to yourself? Even 5-15 minutes can work, if you stick to it.
Don't use the time to fold laundry or catch up on email. It may even seem more stressful at first to leave things undone, but you'll have more energy if you take a little time off.
Where to find the time?
Take advantage of the kids' reading or nap time.
Get up 10 minutes earlier.
Ask your kids (and spouse) to do the dishes.
Turn off the smartphone.
Claim a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon for yourself, even if that means adjusting your family’s schedule.
If 5 minutes is all you've got, you'd be surprised at how much you can make it count.
Just breathe. Really focus on taking deep breaths. Your mind may wander -- that's OK, just gently lead it back from thinking about everything that's on your to-do list.
Stretch. Get up from your desk and energize your muscles.
Do nothing. Sit quietly. Resist the urge to jump up and clear the table or pick up the kids' toys. Let your mind and body rest.
A Few Minutes More
At least once a month, carve out a little more time for yourself -- say 30 minutes to an hour. Get a pedicure. Or a facial. Go somewhere you've never been (a certain museum or a walking trail, perhaps). Write down your dreams and goals in a journal.