#ProjectHappy: How Spending Time Alone Can Seriously Up Your Feel-Goods

Stressed? In need of a holiday? It's time to put “spending time with me” at the top of your to do list.


We get it. You’re busy. When you’re not climbing the career ladder, pounding it out at the gym, catching up with all your besties, and squeezing in some precious family time, you’re keeping up with the world on a small screen and tweeting about how damn busy you are. With all of that stuff there’s barely any time left for you, but getting in some quality “me” time is super important for your well-being.

“Our mind is bombarded with approximately 70,000 thoughts a day,” explains performance coach Margaret Mara. “With social media so easy to hand, and the demands of work or college, you might feel like you’re permanently on the go. Stop and ask yourself, when was the last time I did something really nice for me?”

We spend so much time caring for others that we sometimes forget to care for ourselves

Sometimes we feel so caught up in the errands we said we’d run for our mam or that extra project we agreed to do at work that we simply don’t leave any space in our busy schedules to kick back with our own company. To nix it, Margaret suggests you stop saying yes to everything. “We spend so much time caring for others that we sometimes forget to care for ourselves. But self care is essential. You are the most important person in your life after all.”

Nobodies sayin’ you should get all lazy on it, but slackening up on one or two of your responsibilities will work wonders for your stress levels and overall well-being. “Feeling good about yourself is vital and taking just five minutes out of each day is enough to free up your mind,” explains Margaret. “Turn everything off, have a cup of tea, put your phone down and do nothing. Just be with yourself and enjoy the quietness.”

If you still reckon you’re too busy to nudge in some personal time, schedule it. Just like you would pop an important meeting into your diary, Margaret suggests you block off time to relax too. “You may want to set aside a specific time to practice yoga or go for a swim. Perhaps it’s just walking the dog and feeling a sense of freedom.” Whatever it is that you enjoy, make a space for it, plan it and pencil it in.

To really feel the benefits, “me” time should be something you do daily. “It could be five minutes. It could be 20,” says Margaret. “You decide how long it’s going to be and when is best given your lifestyle.” In other words, its your time. You decide when, and how you spend it. Now excuse us, we’re off to kick back on the couch with a cuppa.