Priorities: Do You Have to Be Alone to Have “Me Time?”

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Me Time—I never knew what not having "me time" meant until I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom.

In the corporate world, I went to lunch with friends or clients every day. If I had any extra time, I'd grab a co-worker and we'd go for a pedicure. I would read books and write in my journal en route to business trips. That was back in the day when airplanes didn't have internet and I couldn't get distracted by anything other than the in-flight movie.

Then I quit my job and suddenly, I understood what all my friends and siblings with kids had been talking about. The struggle to find and make time for myself was challenging. But, I became keenly aware of what a difference it made to put yourself on your priority list.

Somehow, changing environments from the office to home completely shifted my definition of "me time." Then one day it hit me that perhaps I had the definition wrong. I was thinking about "me time" as time when I wasn't with anyone else.

With a more accurate definition, I find that I am able to get all sorts of "me time." Just last weekend, I took my kids swimming. I sat in a chair next to the pool while they swam, went down the slide, sat in the hot tub, and even tried out the sauna. I was close enough to be there in case anything happened (they're 8 and 10 and know how to swim), but alone enough to write in my journal. About halfway through the activity, a friend met me there and we hung out while our kids played together for an hour, getting me even more "me time."

Now don't get me wrong. I think it's important to have alone time and some people need it more than others. But, I also think it's important to make time for yourself doing things you love. If they happen to be with other people or around other people, then that's awesome! Engage in the activity and give yourself a pat on the back. Whatever you do, just make time for yourself!

Where do you fall on your priority list? Making time for yourself is important. What can you do this week to take time for yourself? What are ideal ways you'd spend "me time?"

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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