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FRENCHMe time? If you are a wife and mother like me, you are laughing hysterically right now! Ok, so calm down, dry your eyes and lets talk about what “Me Time” is all about. As sufferers of mental illness it is very important to set aside time to recharge. There is no magical formula, there is not allotted time, but it takes some effort to find the balance that works for you.

Set aside time for yourself

When you are depressed, finding time to be alone is pretty easy. You cancel plans, ignore phone calls, rebuff responsibilities, and find lots of time to yourself; Too much time to your self. When your mood tips up towards mania, you have no need of time to yourself. In the in-between, lets face it, you have no idea how to find time to yourself or if you even should!

Alone time is very important for everyone. Engaging in solo activities most definitely help recharge your batteries and they can be valuable times for personal growth. Taking walks alone, reading books, or even sitting in a cafe enjoying a latte can help. It is these times as a Christian in which I spend time with God, studying his word or in times of prayer and reflection. But don’t confuse your beneficial “me time” with your daily time set aside for God. “Me time” is about your mental health.

Set as part of your schedule

Many of us set aside time during the day for bible study and prayer. We set aside time to do the dishes, laundry, get the kids ready for school, for cooking dinner… Ok, we just mostly do these things automatically, as they become part of our daily lives. Yet setting aside some personal time is as valuable to your everyday routine as brushing your teeth.

It is important to set aside some time for you, that benefits only you, that is something you enjoy doing. Maybe a hobby or an interest that you have. Something that allows for personal growth or inner satisfaction counts your “Me Time” item. This can be something you spend an hour daily doing, or maybe just a few days a week. Also, as you set aside time in your day, set aside space in your home for pursuing your activities.

Watching TV is your me time

If you have looked at your schedule and just can’t find the time in your week, maybe you need to look at the other activities you spend time on during the week. Maybe it’s the three hours of television each night, or the weekly trips to the pub or coffee shop. Unless you are working 50-60 hours a week (which is possible in today’s world), there is time available for you to spend on yourself.

The needs of your family come first, but there is a way

Maybe you need to get out of the house. Maybe a special time at the coffee shop, or at the library. It could be enough to not turn the tv on twice a week, and stay away from social media. Be conscientious about how you are spending your time, and think of how you would like to be spending your time. Its take some time to create new habits, but stick with it. You can find time for yourself, and take care of your family and work and social obligations.