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21 ME TIME IDEAS TO TEMPT YOU TO TAKE MORE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Me time can feel incredibly elusive, especially if you are juggling work with parenting and running a family home.
But what can sometimes prove more elusive is knowing what to do when you do get some time to yourself.
Especially if you’ve grown so used to never really having any me time that you’ve lost a sense of the things that really make you happy.
If you’re stuck on how to even get any quality time to yourself you should read my post on how to create more me time.
And if you’re wondering whether you can justify me time, what with the working and the parenting and the million and one other things you have on your todo list, just remember the immense mental and emotional wellbeing benefits of taking some time for yourself. These include…
- lowering your stress levels
- increasing your energy
- increasing your productivity
- improving your levels of patience
- lifting your spirits
- giving you a more positive outlook
According to the health and wellbeing website WebMed, allowing yourself some me time will actually help you become a better parent, spouse and a more effective team player.
GET INSPIRED TO CREATE MORE ME TIME FOR YOURSELF
So now you know how to carve out some me time and the reasons why it’s not just ok, but actually brilliant to have some time for yourself, here’s a big list of ideas for ways to spend some quality me time.
I’ve included some of my favourite me time activities, the things I like to do in my spare time that make me feel refreshed, content and happy about myself. Plus ideas from friends, family and stuff I’ve been inspired to add to my list of things to try.
Take a look at the list and start planning how you can use the time you get to yourself to do something that makes you happy.
21 BRILLIANTLY ENTICING ME TIME IDEAS
ME TIME IDEAS AT HOME
Here are some ideas to get you fired up for indulging in some me time at home. These are things things you can do for yourself, by yourself when you have as little as ten minutes spare.
- Start your day with 20 minutes of yoga, stretching or gentle exercise – set your alarm 20 minutes earlier if need be. It’s a great way to ease yourself into the day feeling refreshed and centred. I actually start my day with 20 minutes on my exercise bike and ten minutes of gentle stretching / yoga. I really notice it when I don’t do this, which is rarely, because it’s a total me time habit! Find out more about how to create your own morning routine and how to start each day with a morning affirmation.
- Enjoy a Netflix show that nobody else in your household wants to watch – but that you know you’ll love! I tend to keep a playlist of stuff that I want to watch, then when I get some time to myself I don’t have to spend it searching for something to watch, by which time it’s time to go back to the rest of the day!!
- Go for a walk and listen to a podcast. Whilst I love just going out for a walk and letting my mind wander, I also love having the time to listen to a really uplifting, inspirational or simply fun podcast. I am a huge fan of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Spinning Plates, How To Fail by Elizabeth Day and The Emma Guns Show by beauty journalist Emma Gunavardhana.
- Take a power nap – AKA ‘meditation’!!! I am rubbish at meditating, I really am. But I am getting better and better at getting out my yoga mat, lying back on it and getting myself deeply relaxed. I think that by removing the pressure of trying to meditate, I actually do end up in quite a zen-like state and it is deeply refreshing.
- Read a book that you find hard to put down. Yes, I know it’s so easy to say ‘read a book’, but in our always on, always scrolling world, it can actually be really difficult to get into the habit of reading on a regular basis, especially if you’ve got out of the habit. I absolutely love reading, but a couple of years back I got to the point where I was only reading books when I went on holiday. I decided that needed to change and I started reading my Kindle for a few minutes every night after I got into bed. Reading is now my go-to way to wind down and get ready for sleep, so it’s a double-whammy of a me time habit!
- Give yourself a mini facial. Whilst you may not have time/spare cash to go for a facial at a spa, you can make it easy to grab half an hour to give yourself a little pampering. My latest purchase is the Sarah Chapman (leading beauty therapist) Pro-Hydro-Mist Steamer. I use it for five to ten minutes on clean skin and then follow up with my other latest obsession, a hydrating face mask. I tend to fit this pampering me time in on a weekend morning and its become a lovely self-care ritual.
- Cook or bake something indulgent. Cooking can become very functional when you’ve got a family to feed. But cooking can be great therapy and of course there is the added benefit of getting to eat the results. I’m a total cliché lover or baking banana bread at the moment, I like the BBC recipe for it. I also love making Victoria Sponge Cake and then layering it up with butter-icing, which I could literally make a bowl of and eat on its own!!!
- Do some weeding or pruning. Now technically this is a chore, but gardening is also a great way to relax. It gets you outside in the fresh air, it gets you connecting with nature and concentrating on what you are doing takes your mind away from drilling todo list items through your mind.
- Write a journal. I wrote a journal – or diary as I called it back then, before journal became the word du jour – throughout my teenage years. I rediscovered journal writing through a friend who runs guided meditation workshops. I find guided mediations IRL somewhat easier to stick with than trying to hobble my way through meditating at home. Anyway, said friend has got me back into the habit of journal writing and I have a journal and pen on my bedside table. I focus on gratitude and savouring the good parts of life.
- Dance. Just dance! I started ballet at 2.5 years old, took dance classes until I was 18 and danced my way through so many nights out in my 20s. But then over time the dancing dwindled, big nights out became more focused around eating and drinking and then for a while, big nights out disappeared altogether. Then one day I bumped into a friend of a friend who taught ballet, next thing I knew I was doing ballet barre classes. These days, if I fancy doing something that is both energetic and uplifting, I stick on a dance workout or dance class. There are myriad to chose from on YouTube and I also do some of the dance workouts on my favourite fitness app, FitOn.
- Shop your wardrobe. It’s very easy to get into a style rut and end up wearing the same few items of clothes over and over. It’s also very tempting to break the monotony by buying more stuff. But an easy way to change things up without leaving the comfort of your own home is to dive into your wardrobe and play dress up. It’s amazing how taking some time to really look at what you’ve got in your wardrobe can help you come up with a bunch of new outfits, that will in turn uplift your spirits when you wear them.
- Play makeovers! My daughter used to love giving me a makeover. The results were… interesting. But as with your wardrobe, it can be very easy to get into a makeup style rut. So spending some time going through your makeup and trying out new things is a great way to while away some me time.
- Read a glossy magazine. It’s so old school, but there really is something fabulously indulgent about reading a magazine cover to cover. Light a candle, put on some quiet background music and flick through those pages.
ME TIME IDEAS OUT AND ABOUT
Of course me time doesn’t have to be spent at home. If you manage to carve yourself out more than half an hour you can indulge yourself by taking yourself off somewhere. Here are some great ways to spend some me time outside of the home.
- Book yourself in for a mani/pedi. Who doesn’t love having pretty looking nails?!! I certainly do.
- Go to see a movie on your own. Go on, it’s really liberating. If you’re hesitant, go to an off-peak screening, where you are likely to have many cinema seats to choose from!
- Visit a museum or art exhibition. It can be tricky really taking in an exhibit when you’re with others, everyone moves at their own pace. So it’s very freeing and indulgent to be able to enjoy wandering round at your own pace.
- Book a spa experience. You don’t have to go for a whole day if you don’t have the time or the money, but booking a massage or facial at a spa rather than beauticians usually means you get to use the spa facilities like the steam room and sauna, which makes the whole experience so much more sumptuous.
- Take yourself out for lunch. Go somewhere fabulous, take a book and enjoy savouring your food.
- Go for a blowout/blowdry. This is a great way to feel fabulous when you’re in between haircuts. Good hair days are good for the soul!!
- Go for a hike or a big country walk. I must confess I don’t do this alone, I tend to bring along my trusty sidekick, Teddy the Cavapoo. She loves nothing better than getting covered in mud in winter or dust and dirt in the summer as we wander across the countryside. Not a huge fan of the countryside? Take a walk to a new part of your City or to a neighbouring town and get to know somewhere new.
- Book a course for a new hobby. What about pottery or a cookery course? Or upholstery? Watercolour painting? Think about the things you loved doing as a kid and see if they translate into something you’d love to spend time doing again.
I really hope some of these ideas spark your imagination and tempt you to start getting more intentional about creating time for yourself, real me time where you can switch off and do something that lifts your spirits and helps you reset.
If you are a working woman with kids and really are struggling to find time to make any time for yourself, you should take a look at my post on working mum hacks that help simplify life, they are all things that I have learned to do over the years to make my life simpler and reduce the stress of juggling working, parenting and running a family home.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.