The average person in the U.S. has only 43 minutes per day of ‘me time’, with factors such as noise, partners, children, and work preventing people from getting the rest and relaxation they need—as found in a OnePoll survey. Some people’s favorite ‘me time’ spots are the bedroom, backyard, and the local coffee shop, while others are more into catching a film at the cinema or going for a drive.
Whatever your definition of quality time alone is, it is important to find it and enjoy it on a regular basis. Doing so is far from being a selfish act. Rather, it is an important way to enhance your health and happiness so you can share the very best version of yourself with the people you love.
‘Me Time’ Improves the Quality of Your Personal and Professional Life
A 2015 study by researchers from the British Psychological Society found that high-quality ‘me time’ improves psychological wellbeing and boosts employee wellbeing. That is, people who regularly make time for themselves and take part in high-quality experiences enjoy a better work-life balance and greater happiness both at home and at work. Another study undertaken at the University of Rochester, meanwhile, found that seeking solitude for the right reasons is linked to good psychological health.
‘Me time’ is different from loneliness in that it is based on positive motivation. When you seek time alone in a healthy way, you enjoy greater self-esteem and a stronger sense of being related to others. High-quality ‘me time’ actually helps you feel less lonely.
What Does Authentic ‘Me Time’ Involve?
If you wondered what ‘high-quality me time’ is, the answer is that it is anything that makes you feel that you have recharged your batteries. For some people, nothing quite beats visiting a day spa. As they enjoy a soothing body massage or facial, it feels like their cares have melted away.
Indeed, the power of touch and pampering is undeniable and top spas often contain a variety of elements that pamper the senses—including beautiful fragrances, textures, and tastes. However, your idea of the perfect day may include additional activities such as sport, reading, or catching up with a friend. So long as you feel reinvigorated, ‘complete’, or calm after your chosen experience, you know that you have given yourself authentic ‘me time’.
Even a Little Bit of Time Alone Does Wonders
Depending on the stage of life you are in, it can seem like being alone is an impossibility. This is especially true if you have little children. The key is to manage just a little time every day so you don’t feel like you are neglecting your own health, happiness, and wellbeing. You may benefit from even five to 10 minutes of controlled breathing a day (if so, try out apps like Calm, Headspace, or Breathe).
If you are stressed out, head to a park or other green area. Just 10 minutes in a green spot dramatically lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Try to embrace holistic activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation, which you can practice anywhere, even at home, and even for just a little while.
Time is precious. In this busy world, it can be difficult to find even a few minutes of ‘me time’ every day. The research has spoken, though; ‘me time’ is essential for unwinding, feeling more connected to others, and boosting the quality of your personal and professional life. Therefore, try to schedule in a bit of time alone, regardless of how hectic your day-to-day life is.