When I was in junior high, I learned something about myself. I learned that I hate being bored. I began to load up a full plate of extracurricular actives: jazz choir, dance, student body government, debate team, theater-- until I felt so burned out, I didn't want to do anything at all. Instead of being really good at a couple things, I forgot how to distribute my energy and I ended up being just okay at a lot of things. I got bored with one hobby and then onto the next.
Throughout this process, I took on activities I had no business doing like rowing crew and taking up knitting. Now, there are those over-achiever types that can keep a full plate perfectly balanced on the tip of their nose while jumping rope. Unfortunately, I am not one of those types. It's easy to over-load yourself with so many things because you like the feeling of achievement, you enjoy being around people and because your mother needs more things to brag about at her book club meetings.
Making time for yourself is not only important when you're older but it's also important when you're younger.The older you get, the more you start to value the time you have to yourself so why not start the habit early. Each month, make a list of 4-5 things you want to do on your own. This can be anything from reading a book, cooking a new recipe or exploring a new shopping street-- whatever you can do to feel relaxed and at peace with loving your own company. Maintain this weekly ritual-- make every sunday a "me" day.
There are lots of advantages to making time for yourself:
- you get to do things you've been meaning to do
-you get to set your own agenda
- you get to take time to think and reflect
- you get to focus on you
Of course, while some people love doing things on their own, others feel that they just NEED to go out on a friday night because it's friday and that's what friday is for. Going out is not always the option that will make you feel your absolute best. " Me" time is the perfect reminder to slow down. The weekend will still be there after friday so why not catch up with friends later and spend the night laying low, cooking dinner and watching a favorite movie.
Time is a gift you give to yourself. The busier you are, the less of it you have and the more of it you'll find you want. Making time for yourself is healthy. When we feel refreshed and mentally re-set, we're more capable of belonging in a social setting and those around us like us a little more too.
(Marina Orievsky studied Communication at the University of Washington where she put her focus on journalism and social media. She has worked with Revolution Inc. and Papersalt since January 2012, contributing blog material about life lessons and about her personal experiences with transitioning from teenage years to adulthood.)