Carving out “Me Time”

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When I was a second semester senior in college, I had an awkward amount of time between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One ended at 12:15 and the next one started at 2:30. It was too much time to use just for lunch, but it wasn’t quite enough time to eat and relax with friends and then get settled in the library. But honestly, that chunk of time became one of the best parts of my week. I’d let myself in to the upper part of our school newspaper office and get situated on the desktop Mac, and then I’d grab my favorite sandwich from the dining hall. I’d spend time working, call my mom or my best friend from high school, or even squeeze in a blog post and shoot (I had a little blog at the time where I’d profile fashionable people on campus and ask them a few interview questions). On Tuesdays, this chunk of time was the perfect escape before a hectic newspaper production night, and on Thursdays, it was a great time to knock out some work before weekend social activities began.

Of course, in the working world, schedules can be much less predictable. My coworkers and I try to eat together whenever possible, but most days we’ll end up bringing food back to our desks after walking to and from the cafeteria together. However, there are definitely pockets of the day that can be converted into me time, such as…

1) Your commute. Turn on your favorite podcast or radio station, and zone out (a bit) as you catch up on news or just relax. Listening to NPR in the mornings not only wakes me up (!) but also helps me start the day feeling aware and informed.

2) Before bed. Put on a face mask, read 30 pages of a new book, or flip through a magazine. It can be so hard to “turn off” your brain and just calm down, but we all know that this is the key to a good sleep and productivity down the road. Last week, I got really in to a book I was reading and looked forward to reading a few (or 50) pages before bed each night. It also felt much more productive than scrolling through Instagram or Facebook.

3) At breakfast. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and catch up on your favorite blogs or websites. Before I get out of bed each morning, I always scroll through my email on my phone, but after that I like to incorporate five minutes or so of something fun before I head to work. Checking Bloglovin or Pinterest as I eat breakfast always helps me start the day feeling inspired.

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