7 Entrepreneurs on How They Handle “Me” Time

The concept of finding time for self-care has become so popular that it has a definition in the Oxford Dictionary: “Time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.” We all know “me” time is important, but it’s often de-prioritized because people feel guilty in the act—downgrading a relaxing mani/pedi or even reading a one-page article in a magazine to Something I Shouldn’t Be Doing Right Now. There’s just so much work to get done and a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Right? Wrong. According to Sherrie Bourg Carter, the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout, “Constantly being ‘on’ doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly,” she says. Carter wrote a Psychology Today article about the many tangible benefits of alone time including: improving creativity, increasing productivity, working through problems effectively, understanding oneself, and enhancing relationships. Sounds pretty good, right?

7 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Handle Me Time

So, we turned to seven entrepreneurs who’ve learned first-hand how important (and rejuvenating) “me” time really is—and shared how you can fit it into your schedule, too:

Samantha Cooper, Trend Tribe

It used to be that Cooper was so busy building her business, her free time outside of work was dedicated to her seeing her boyfriend or spending time with family—there was no room left for her to be with herself and herself only. “However, I’ve learned that ‘me’ time is a non-negotiable because otherwise, I start to feel rundown and get sick. Now, instead of feeling guilty about spoiling myself with a Real Housewives mini-marathon, I remind myself that ‘me’ time is a necessity for a successful business and loving relationships,” Cooper says. To make it work, Cooper adds “me” time on her calendar—that’s the only way she’ll keep to it. “I’ve literally added ‘mani and pedi’ and scheduled my calls around it. Sometimes a girl needs a mid-day spa break,” she says.

Julie Sygiel, Dear Kate

For the last year, Sygiel has committed to keeping one day of her workweek open, sans any dinner dates or events after work. “Having that type of structure helps me say no to things and plan farther in advance, so I build in enough time to do whatever I feel like doing that evening (which likely is returning emails but occasionally is more exciting!),” Sygiel says.

Meagan Hooper, bSmart Guide

When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, Hooper always thinks about a line from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “True effectiveness is a function of two things: what’s produced and the producing asset or capacity to produce.” Hooper says, “Every entrepreneur knows it’s hard to schedule ‘me’ time, but by remembering to invest in my production as well as my production capability, it helps me justify and embrace the time off.” Thus, her downtime consists of eating healthy foods, getting some exercise, and spending some time laughing with friends.

Alesya Opelt, Alesya Bags

Opelt has a somewhat surprising take on this issue: “Take your ‘me’ time during traditional business hours. I know it sounds downright counter-productive, but think of it this way—you work all the time during your ‘off’ hours, why wouldn’t you use your flexible schedule for self care too?” she says. Point taken.

Julie Schechter, FitBallet

Since Schecter’s day job is many people’s “me” time mode, she does anything but sweat off-the-clock. “I really focus on doing non-fitness-related things when I’m not working, so that I can completely clear my head. I read fiction, I go out for cocktails with friends; I try to absorb as much of the world that doesn’t relate to my business as possible,” she says.

Courtney Grace Peterson, Logic & Grace

Peterson has a clear list of things that help her clear her head. “I really believe you have to decelerate to accelerate again, so I make it a point to schedule self-care,” she says. Here’s her emergency checklist:

1. Invest in sleep and power naps.
2. Turning your phone to airplane mode for a mini digital detox.
3. Go for long run or walk in the park.

Erin Zakis, Sundara

Last but not least, after feeling and succumbing to serious pressure to launch a successful business, Zakis burned out and decided it was time for a change. “I started making little changes to put ‘me’ time back into my routine. Now I turn my work off by 11 p.m. and I have one day on the weekend where I won’t even check my email. During the week I try to do one thing nice for myself each day—usually a spin or barre class, going grocery shopping and cooking myself dinner or getting a quick massage,” she says. But Zakis’ real trick to having “me” time is asking yourself this question: Where do I do my best thinking? Then go there.

This article is by me and it was originally published on Levo League. The image is from Gary Pepper Girl.

40 Responses to 7 Entrepreneurs on How They Handle “Me” Time

  1. Finding time for yourself is crucial for your health and success. I find that I can burn out easily if I don’t have at least one day to myself, where I’m not checking emails or answering calls. I do a lot of my best thinking at the beach, so even if I need to get work done I’ll bring it along with me and sit by the water for a few hours. It really helps me feel refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my to-do list!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  2. Ashley Mason says:

    Love this post! It’s so important to find time for yourself in your career; it’s vital for success and health. Not taking the time to relax can end up being super stressful!

  3. May says:

    These are amazing tips and an incredibly insightful question! It can be especially tough when you are your own boss/don’t have set hours to take time to yourself, so these are great ideas!

  4. Ashley says:

    Me time is so important! These tips are really great. I’m sending this to my mom because she needs this sometimes!
    xoxo

  5. Mikayla says:

    Loved see in how everyone handled “me” time! I definitely agree power naps and runs or jogs are great!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  6. Savannah says:

    I love Julia from Dear Kate’s advice! Its easy fill your schedule without considering down time and time alone.

    Savannah from http://thealwaysblog.com

  7. Jenny says:

    Me time is truly essential.
    I wouldn’t be able to function without a little me time every week.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  8. Shane says:

    I’m at a point in my career in a 9 to 5 that I’m already feeling burnt out. I love the idea of taking “me time” – especially investing in proper sleep!

  9. Morgan says:

    I really like Erin’s advice of not checking email one day of the weekend. I’m sure that allows the mind to rest from work-work-work. I definitely need to try it!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  10. Alessandra says:

    This is such a great resource to have, especially with all of this advice coming from entrepreneurs! I like the way that Samantha makes it a point to schedule ‘me time’ in her calendar. I procrastinate with ‘me time’ in the same way that a lot of people procrastinate with their work!

    Alessandra | The PumpUp Blog

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      Isn’t that such a good tip? I need to do the same thing. Catch up on Pretty Little Liars is at the top of my list.

  11. Jordyn says:

    Me time is SO important, I really love the idea of this post. I think it’s a good idea to give yourself me time in traditional business hours occasionally and a digital detox now and then is crucial.

  12. Nicole says:

    LOVE this post!!! I feel like blogging has become my second job and I have hardly enough time to spend alone! I love my alone tme! Wonderful ideas from these people!

    Nicole // Chronicles of Home

  13. Lauren says:

    This is such a great post. I think “me” time is essential to leading a healthy life and people need to do it more often!
    Lauren
    The Fashionista’s Diary

  14. Ashley says:

    Love this post! I really enjoyed opening the links to the entrepreneurs sites and check them out!! Me time is so essential to living a happy, healthy life!

    xo Ashley

  15. Love this! Definitely putting some of these principles into practice!

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    http://www.thediaryofadebutante.com

  16. Such a great post!! According to me time is so essential to living a happy, healthy life!

  17. I absolutely LOVE this, Elana. This needs to be said. The tip about taking “me” time during business hours because we work off-hours anyways…SO true! I’m bookmarking and sharing this.

    Coming Up Roses

  18. Alicia says:

    I love, love love this! Having a full-time job and a full-time blog is so difficult, but I really like Julia’s policy of having one night completely to herself, no work, no dinner dates, nada. Me time is so important and something that I don’t really experience that often, and clearly I need to start!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  19. Allison says:

    I really enjoyed this article! And I’ve realized that maybe my “me time” hasn’t actually been about me! I’m so worried about missing out on things that I’m going all the time!

  20. Courtney says:

    Great tips and amazing post from such inspirational people, thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Courtney//
    As We Stumble Along

  21. Alexis Reliford says:

    Really love this post! With so many things going on, I sometimes forget to take “me time,” and this is a great reminder about why I need to.

    xo
    Alexis

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      Thank you so much, Alexis. I’m glad it was helpful! I forget to take “me” time too.

  22. MACARENA FERREIRA says:

    This really hits home! I love “me” time and I actually love being alone. It doesn’t mean you don’t “want” to see other people it’s about wanting to be with yourself!

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

  23. Courtney says:

    I have a pretty tough job, and I have to sit down a lot too, so I have to take time for myself during business hours or I’ll go insane lol. I’ve found that when I have time to take a break for myself and focus on something else for a little bit, I’m able to go back to work and be more productive. Sounds crazy, but that’s how it works for me. Plus I’m just a good multi-tasker haha

  24. Ally Gagliardo says:

    I am SO about me time! It’s one of the one things that I really try to take seriously just for myself. I always take about 1 hour before bed to read, and do my nightly routine!

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