How to Build "Me" Time into Every Day - And It's So Easy!

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

You give at home, you give at work, you give to the community - you're always doing your best for everyone else - but do you ever do what's best for you? Here's a strategy to build a little time for yourself into every day - even the busiest.

With all of the "must-do's" that fill your day, you barely have time to get it all done - the kids off to school, you off to work, the kids from daycare, shopping, cooking, straightening up - there's just so much to do and so little time.

But the simple fact is, a little time, set aside just for you, can make a big difference in the quality of your day and the quality of your life. So, here are some tips to build a little 'me' time into your hectic day.

1. Set the alarm 15 minutes early, get up and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before the rest of the family gets up. You may lose 15 minutes of sleep, but you'll pick up a whole day of calm.

2. Like to read, but don’t have the time? Well, instead of listening to talk radio during morning drive time, listen to your favorite authors on books on tape. You'll find them free at your local public library. Turn that morning nightmare of a commute into 'me time' by listening to the latest from your favorites.

3. Instead of hanging out with the gang at work, use your lunchtime to grab a quick snack, then get away from work by taking a brisk walk around the parking lot. Clear your head and prepare yourself for the rest of the day. You'll feel better both physically and emotionally.

4. Leave work at the office. Once you punch out, you're on your own time. Enjoy it. Practice some natural stess reduction techniques.

5. Split the household chores with other family members. Use the extra time to take an adult education class, or take up yoga - anything but getting grape juice stains out of the carpet at midnight.

6. Make a daily schedule to avoid repeat trips and wasted time. Even if you can squeeze an extra five minutes out of your daily routine, that's five minute more for you, and five minutes here and five minute there might actually add up to a 15-minute power nap in the afternoon.

7. Avoid over planning family activities on the weekends. Instead, give yourself a day at the spa - do something just for you. Here are some suggestions to turn your home into a day spa.

Sure, we all want to be 'Super Mom", but the bar's set pretty high in our culture where women are expected to 'want it all'. Forget it - it's a myth. But what isn't a myth is this: give yourself some 'me time' each day and you'll be a happier mother, spouse, coworker and friend. And, if you're happy, those around you will be happy, as well.