Why Me-Time Isn’t Selfish (And Why It’s Good For Your Health!)
We have scientific proof that self-care is necessary for parents.
There’s a lot of pressure to do it all, be it all, and have it all. With the never-ending daily demands on all lactating parents, it’s crucial to shed the guilt. We’re here to make the case for me-time, because self-care isn’t selfish. Taking the time you need to recharge helps you come back to your family (and your work) refreshed and ready to be the best you.
Here’s what science says: Lactating parents get even less leisure time than their non-lactating partners (an average of 25 hours per week vs. 28 hours) and spend more time multi-tasking (an extra 10 hours per week). However, time for yourself has so many benefits. It helps you manage stress and energy levels, keeps you connected to your interests, and allows you to show yourself some love during a hectic time of life. Time alone allows you to escape societal pressures and build confidence. Simply put, it prevents parental burnout.
Making time to recharge and pursue personal interests is important for all parents, but especially those who work (full- or part-time) while raising their kids. Why? Not only does me-time provide relaxation, but it also boosts your productivity and problem-solving, provides space for self-discovery and deep thinking, and enhances your relationships. Making time for yourself can contribute to a better work-life balance and greater engagement at work. Talk about a win-win.
So how do you make me-time happen?
1. Disconnect from technology.
Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Log off your email. Taking this step alone can free up time and space for reconnecting with yourself and the people you love. Create opportunities for life experiences where you can feel fully present. Get your hands dirty, learn new things, move your body. You’ll find fulfillment and refresh your spirit.
2. Set boundaries.
Turn your back on unnecessary (and unwanted!) criticism and say “no” more often. You don’t have to watch the neighbor’s kids for another night in a row. You don’t need to sign up for double-duty on soccer snacks just because others have done so in the past. Your energy is important and deserves to be protected so you can give it to the people and things that matter most.
3. Schedule Me-Time.
Don’t let weeks and months go by. Open up the calendar, sit down with your partner, book a sitter if needed, and block off time for yourself. Whether you plan to exercise, get your friends together for a night out, or simply soak in the tub with a good book, make that time sacred. You wouldn’t cancel an important meeting with your boss, so view this time the same way. And me-time doesn’t have to require hours. Sneak it into your everyday life in small, simple ways like at-home pampering, a solo walk, an interesting audiobook or a call to a friend.
As parents ourselves, we know how hard it is to carve out time for yourself. That’s why we want to encourage and empower other parents to make themselves a priority in any way that they can. “Me-time” is important for your mental health, and it allows you to live and work to your fullest potential. You deserve time for you!