The term me-time has become zeitgeisty over the last year; it often captions images of rose-petalled baths, candles, books and teas, and the very popular selfie in bed — staple as it is. But why is the term so reckoning and compelling as to make itself one of our most common hashtags?
It can be that we’re in love with terms that make us part of something, whatever that might be: #metoo, #selfie, #followme, #me, but the truth is that as a generation, we’re beginning to understand the benefits and self-love boosting elements we can find in me-time — no matter how trendy the topic, there’s nothing more valuable than giving yourself the gift of time – be it a few minutes, a whole day; be it shared, scheduled, conscious, hashtagged or not.
Me time: Me-moments vs. Ma-moments, the ritual
The Japanese word ‘ma’, refers to those moments that happen in between ‘more important’ moments of action — when standing in line, when commuting, when cooking. ‘Ordinary’ as they are, these are in fact spaces in time in which we thrive in peace, more often than not, without even noticing; It’s these moments we should learn to savour to find unexpected but revitalising minutes of me-time.
Just like those ‘moments between moments’ that we so eagerly want to rush through (but probably shouldn’t), routines and rituals allow us to dive into and out of our days without having to make any decisions — hence known for keeping anxiety at bay. Putting on face-masks, binge watching a series, doing yoga before bedtime, drinking our favorite tea: they all sound brilliant, right? They are, as long as they’re not just background noise to our hectic days.
If our lives seem to be happening too quickly and insurmountably at times, then being present in both me and ma moments can be the way to refresh and embellish our emotional connection to everything we do. We might even end up coming to terms with the fact that me and ma can be just the same: possibilities to hang out with ourselves!
How to make me-time and ma-time a ritual
For me-moments: Lists can be of help here. If there are things triggering our anxiety, then there are things triggering our peace — list the latter. Everything is valid here as long as you’re conscious about getting enough of it: it’s a plan to remind yourself of things you truly love.
For ma-moments: Start with post-its if you’d like. Place them with the word ma around the spaces where you do your-most-automatic-self, to remind yourself that those are still precious opportunities to focus on yourself.
Our team me’s and ma’s
We asked the team behind Plentiness about their thoughts on me-time and here’s what they said,
Linda – Founder
Sometimes I feel like living in an endless to-do-list. I’m an overactive and enthusiastic person so it’s probably partly my fault. My hyperconnected, hectic, contemporary life doesn’t help either. When thinking about “me time” what I crave the most is some time to… do nothing. No soaking in a bathtub with rose petals and candles, no yoga classes (sometimes I run after this too), no face masks & wine. Nothing. Instagram included.
I rather being very present to reconnect with myself with no goals in mind; to listen to what I am and what I need in that specific moment. Meditation and silence are gold to me.
Simona – Founder
For me, me time means to give myself the gift of quality time. It could be a few minutes or an entire day. What really matters is to focus on myself only, instead of spending energy elsewhere — on someone or something.
Meditation, a warm bath, beauty routines, and napping are my favourite ways to get some me-time.
Nico – Contributor
Not unlike making plans with your BFF that you haven’t seen in a long time, I think sometimes we put an awful lot of pressure on ourselves to make me time really special. If you’re constantly busy, have kids or just haven’t been able to have a damn day off in a long time, it does require some careful planning to make sure you’re making the most of this quality time with your bad self.
Whether it’s an over-the-top bath or binge-watching your favourite series* in bed with your cat, it’s all fair game!
I don’t think “me time” can be defined by a single activity, and personally, it varies with my mood. My absolute favourite thing to do to unwind is getting through a series that I’ve been dying to watch and haven’t had the chance. I’ve also surprised myself with finding Headspace and relaxation in cooking a delicious meal for myself.
*by Series, Nico means Fleabag
Valeria – Social Media Manager and contributor
Me-time is about self care, and self care is about happiness. It means exercising the body as well as the mind, including what makes you feel good and keeping out what doesn’t feed your soul.
It’s a very personal wellness recipe: everybody has their own!
Gerry – PRs and Press Office
#metime is learning new things, practising mindfulness and creativity.
Daniela – Contributor
Dancing. Dancing a lot. Eating well, by my own-terms. Cooking for myself. Baking for others. Listening to podcasts. Listening to my favorite (current) albums — Lizzo Cuz I love you, James Blake Assume Form. Reading a book (at least half an hour a day). Reading The New Yorker. Doing yoga. Listening to a loved one who needs to be listened. Holding their hand. Finally reading their text message and sending a voice message instead. Not answering anything just yet and leaving my phone somewhere else. Marmite on toast. Morning coffee, after-lunch coffee, afternoon coffee. The latter with tea as well. Peanut butter everything. Writing. Writing down what I’m thankful for, writing down what I’m wishing for. Breathing. Breathing is number one actually. Watering my plants. Buying a new book, reading an old book. Watching Fleabag* and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel all over again. Putting on a face-mask. Asking for help. Asking myself for help. Scheduling. Picking eucalyptus. Lighting up a candle.
*Can’t have enough of it.
Igor – Developer
Me-time is to say “yes” to yourself and not to fear to say some “no”.