You should take some “Me Time”–time to yourself doing something that’s only for you.
Your son or daughter has died. You’ve taken the umpteenth negative pregnancy test. You’ve just walked away from an ultrasound where they saw no heartbeat. You feel very alone. We all do when these things happen.
Then why on earth would I tell you to take “Me Time”? To do something solitary? By yourself? On your own?
Because we all need to recharge. We all need to step back from a situation to get a better handle on what it is we’re dealing with. So often, we can get caught up in a whirlwind of work, school, kids, church and other obligations, that we forget that “Me” even exists. We’re too busy being parents, employees, committee members or volunteers to recognize there’s a thinking, feeling human being with needs inside.
For a year, I buried my head in the sand after my son’s death. I put my nose to the grindstone. I worked long hours. I threw myself into my older boys’ activities. I volunteered for everything under the sun. And, to be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot of 2010. I was an automaton–moving forward without growth or insight or self-awareness. I gained virtually nothing from that year. I was numb.
I started taking ”Me Time” because it was assigned to me. I sought out counseling. My grieving had been subconsciously put on hold, and it was starting to break through and I felt as though I was beginning to fall apart. In my first real session, after the initial intake sessions, my counselor asked me what things I did for myself. I couldn’t give him an answer. Truly, I couldn’t.
It was then that I came to the startling realization that I didn’t really know who “me” was anymore. When I lost my son, I also lost myself.
I had to find myself again.
As part of my homework for counseling, I would take time to do things for me. I would write, knit, meditate, or veg out in front of the TV watching something I wanted to watch instead of Nick or Disney. Note that I said “take time,” not “make time.” We can’t make time, we can only take a bigger chunk of the 24 hours we’ve been given. It’s about shifiting priorities not trying to pack more into every day.
So, today, do something for yourself. Something you never do that you love to do. Something you want to do but often deny yourself because it’s not something that you HAVE to do. The irony is this: taking care of yourself IS something you HAVE to do. We’re no good to the ones we love–spouses, children, significant others, parents, siblings, friends–if we aren’t cared for. And the one person you should be able to count on to care for you is yourself!
Take a long walk or run.
Go to counseling (individual or group).
Go to a yoga class or meditate.
Listen to music.
Paint, draw, or sculpt.
Take out that instrument you’ve been neglecting.
Go to your favorite exercise class.
Pour a glass of wine and sit out on your porch or patio and watch the world go by.
Have a manicure or pedicure or both.
Get a massage.
I promise the world will still be here waiting for you when you return from your solace.
TAKE some “Me time.”