Column: Take time for yourself
Commentary by Brittany Mohrman, MD
Juggling life’s priorities can take a toll. That’s why it’s important to find time – even 15 minutes a day – to take a break, relax and do something you enjoy. Breaks from life’s hectic pace help decrease stress, increase energy and improve your outlook and well-being. Here are some tips for making the most of this time:
Schedule it. Treat time for yourself as you would any other important appointment – mark it on your calendar. If booking the time is a challenge, consider getting up earlier in the morning to enjoy some free time.
Take advantage of the time you have. Even if you can’t spare an hour or two, don’t give up on the concept of scheduling downtime altogether. If 10 minutes is all you have on weekdays, spend them enjoying a good book or walking around the block. Deep breathing, meditation and stretching only take a few minutes, but can help you de-stress and re-energize.
Find activities you enjoy. When you’re able to take more time for yourself – in the evenings or on weekends – consider how you’d like to spend the time. What activities interest you? Is there a hobby you’d like to try or something new you’d like to learn? You’ll be more likely to follow through if you have plans for how you’ll spend the time.
Shake off guilt. Some people feel guilty taking time out for themselves when others – especially children – are counting on them. Remember that when you spend time engaged in activities that contribute to your mental, physical, emotional or spiritual well-being, you return feeling restored and refreshed. And because of that, others benefit too. You’ll soon find that “me time” isn’t an indulgence, but an activity that enables you to be a better parent, spouse, friend, employee – and person – to those around you.
Brittany Mohrman, M.D., specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics and is a guest columnist located at IU Health Physicians Internal Medicine & Pediatrics – IU Health Saxony Hospital. She can be reached by calling the office at 317.678-3100. For more health information, subscribe to Strength In You at iuhealth.org/StrengthInYou.