It’s Time for Some Me Time
We all need some “me” time, but that time becomes even more critical in the bariatric surgery world. Spending time to reflect on the opportunities and challenges we face as bariatric patients can be very calming, help us regroup, and ultimately help us take on the day.
Our hectic schedules sometimes cause us to forget our responsibilities after surgery, which, if left ignored, can spiral into bad days. When we don’t stick to our post-surgical commitments, we may struggle with the physical implications and mental and emotional setbacks. Sometimes this can, in turn, lead to discouragement and less-than-ideal weight loss results.
Spending quality time by yourself does not have to last for hours. Some quality time can last as little as 15 minutes, but it should be a daily ritual. Spending those few reflective minutes in the morning, and possibly again in the afternoon, may allow you to put your progress in perspective. Seeing how far you’ve come will let you appreciate the great strides you’ve made in improving your health and life and remind you that you have what it takes to keep going.
That said, “me” time does not mean you have to be in a vacuum with no one around you in a quiet, dark room (though this setting can facilitate a meditative state). Instead, think about this time as doing things for yourself. You may be overdue for a haircut or a visit to the nail salon. You may need some new clothes but haven’t given yourself the enjoyment of going out and getting them. It could be something as simple as visiting a museum or enjoying a movie—your call. But being by yourself, doing something for yourself, no matter your surroundings, is therapeutic in many ways.
Here are four things to consider for your me time…
- Ditch the phone. The smartphone is one of modern life’s most distracting inventions. To be sure, our smartphones allow us to communicate better and learn more about the people in the world around us. However, constantly having these devices with us also takes away from that all-important “me” time. If you have a smartphone in tow, you give yourself the temptation to check emails, messages, or social media. It works directly against what we are trying to do, removing ourselves from the outside world, even if just for a little while.
- Practice your eating. Being alone may also be a great time to sit at a restaurant and practice eating appropriately with a new menu. It may be a place you’ve wanted to try for a long time. It may even be a place that has mostly unhealthy items. Finding the good stuff amongst the bad is a skill that you can learn easily. This might be an excellent time to practice your cooking too. Being by yourself removes the distraction of a conversation or the pressure of caving to your meal partner’s whims. It gives you a moment to focus on what you’re eating, how it tastes, and whether you’re making the right choices.
- Kill two birds. While you may get the most enjoyment from going to the gym or walking with a friend, sometimes it’s best to go it alone. You could play various sports like golf on your own or practice some tennis with a ball launcher. Walking or running in a nearby park, especially this time of year, is a great way to clear your mind. No matter what you do, be sure you keep your mind clear and free of distractions.
- Take a few before bed. There are so many distractions before bed that it can often make us lose sleep or sleep poorly, at the very least. Giving yourself some alone time before bed can be a great way to unwind from a stressful day and prepare yourself for a great night’s sleep without the distractions of TV or devices. Consider taking a shower or bath to get even more relaxed.
No matter how you structure your “me” time, make sure you give it a fair shake. Your surroundings should be free from the distractions that pull you in different directions. You may also want to take the time to write about your day or about the goals that you want to achieve. You can even plan your menu and exercise routine for the next 24 hours.
So, remember, being a little selfish and taking some time for yourself, even if only a little bit, can benefit anyone, but especially post-operative weight loss surgery patients.
Balancing your hectic life with your exciting lifestyle change can be more attainable by putting yourself first once in a while.