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Remember when you suddenly felt like seeing a movie, so you did? Or when your friends decided at the last minute to go away for the weekend and you were always ready to hit the road? Those were the days when you were able to do what you wanted when you wanted, with only a moment’s notice.

Being a parent often means that your own needs come last. Parents are busy people, with careers, children, families, community involvement and other relationships. Taking “me” time when you have all of these things going on may sometimes feel like a selfish act.

Taking regular “me” time allows you the time to do what you enjoy; visit friends, join a yoga class, take a walk or do some shopping. The time to yourself will help relieve stress and frustration, help you see things from a different perspective and help you rejuvenate. Taking this time to regroup is essential.

Taking some “me” time is not only good for you but it also benefits your children. By leaving your children with another adult, whether it is for an hour, a day or over night you are allowing your children to build relationships and bonds with people other than their parents. When children are given the chance to develop relationships with people, they become more well rounded, are better able to adapt, and they’re exposed to new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things.

6 “Me” Time Steps

  1. Start Small: You are more likely to succeed if you start small. Start by setting aside 10 minutes a day for yourself and build from there.
  2. Plan it or sneak it in: If you like to keep a calendar and make to-do lists, then schedule specific days or events that allow you “me” time. If it seems too scheduled then sneak in the time whenever you have the chance.
  3. Ask for Help: When you let go of the need to manage every little thing, it allows you the opportunity to ask for help! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  4. Change your daily habits: Get up earlier to allow yourself some time to start the day quietly and calmly.
  5. Simplify everything else: When you don’t have as many social commitments, as much shopping to complete or a big house to keep up, there are more opportunities for personal time. Learn to say “no”, at least sometimes. Try not to over schedule you and your family.
  6. Go with a friend: If you still haven’t convinced yourself you deserve a little “me” time, call a friend to drag you to Pilates. You’ll probably go back.

Remember your needs matter too and you shouldn’t be at the bottom of the list.