What does “me time” mean? What does it mean to take time for yourself as a mom; as a woman? Every person reading this will have a different answer. As a physical therapist and functional medicine specialist, I can tell you that taking time for yourself goes way beyond a bubble bath, or meditation, or a long walk. All of those things are good if they work for you, but to truly feel the benefits of “me time” and making time for yourself, you have to find what recharges you and make it a consistent part of your routine.
Renew and Recharge
It is a little cliché to say “me time” so I prefer “recharge time”, because that is what it is. It is time you set aside to keep your mind, body and spirit healthy and energized. There are many things you might do to recharge. It is as varied as the individual. The important thing is that you choose something that will benefit your body, mind and wellbeing. So, as much as wine on the porch is great, that is not something that will ultimately help you restore and feel better long term. Here are some of my most recommended activities for women as they make space for themselves. This should be time for you, and only you, with no pressure or guilt.
- Walking or running – outside if possible
- Hiking your favorite Reno or Tahoe trail
- Time with friends who make you laugh
- Meditation or mindfulness
- Reading a good book
- Retreats that allow you to unplug and breathe
- Working out – this can be a class, at the gym, or at home
- Cooking or meal prep
- Connecting in the community
Why Boundaries are Important for Recharge Time
When you decide how you want to spend your time recharging, it is CRITICAL that you protect that time and set a boundary so others don’t steal that time away. For example, long ago I set a very clear boundary with my girls and my husband around my workout time. To this day (my daughters are 17 and 19), they do not bother me or ask for anything during this time every day. My family knows this is how I recharge and make myself stronger than yesterday so I can do all the things!
Other ways to protect your boundaries:
- If others have access to your calendar to book meetings or events, block your recharge time as “busy” and decline any requests for meetings.
- Find a gym with a kids club, or co-op with other moms
- Hire a sitter or nanny so you have reliable coverage for kids if needed.
- Make a space in your home that facilities your recharge time.
- Get a membership to a facility (yoga studio, pool, gym, etc.) that gives you the space, tools and resources you need.
- Weekend get-aways with girlfriends or a night alone at a local hotel
It is remarkable when you set boundaries and stick to them, people will almost always respect those. You just have to commit and be consistent.
Recharging Takes You from Wired and Tired to Healthy and Thriving
Having time to recharge IS NOT a luxury. It is a NECESSITY. If you do not prioritize it, you will quickly find yourself wired and tired. This is how most of my functional medicine patients come to Battle Born Health. They have spent years feeling tired, boated, cranky, and just plain crappy. I know this because it happened to me. When I hit my late 30s something changed. I was stressed and the definition of “wired and tired”. I was doing too much and really burning myself out. I over-exercised, my gut was a bloated mess no matter what I ate, I was anxious, and I was in some sort of pain constantly. Once I figured out what my body and mind needed, I made sure I protected the time to exercise appropriately, meal prep, and focus on my health.
All this made me a better and happier mom, wife, friend, and professional. It is not selfish to prioritize yourself in your own life. In fact doing so will ensure you show up as your best self for the ones you love. So this Mother’s Day, find what recharges you and make a commitment to make it a priority so you can be stronger than yesterday.