Last night I met a friend for dinner. As we caught up over half-priced house wine, she told me she had been up since 5:00 AM that day. Not because her newborn was awake. Not because her toddler needed cuddling. She woke up an hour earlier than the rest of her house so she could spend an hour of alone time—writing. She’s going through a somewhat difficult time in life, and what she learned through some therapy was that she hadn’t done anything for herself in nearly 12 years. Writing has given her an outlet to clear her mind and provide an alternate type of therapy.
Of course, this got my wheels spinning. When I’m not rushing out the door to do one thing or the next, what am I doing for myself? What am I doing to clear my mind? The truth is, my mind is never clear- I lose sleep every day thinking about big things, like the state of the world and little things, like my grocery list.
It seems nonsensical to suggest that getting up an hour early would be the remedy to losing sleep. But as my friend explained to me, that time in the morning gives her the opportunity to get through whatever mental blocks she’s experiencing that day, and it sets the tone for a more productive and somewhat peaceful day. By the time the night rolls around, she’s ready to rest her mind- and therefore sleeps more soundly.
We read about it all the time- moms taking on the mental load, making sure it all gets done, and all the while, not taking care of ourselves. Instead, we should spend time clearing our minds so that we can think more clearly. I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, but I’m thinking there might be something valuable in considering a small change in my routine. I haven’t figured out if it’ll be yoga, journaling, or reading, but I do believe I will be making more "me time" this year. Who wants to join me?
(Pictured Above: The most "me-time" you can get, the floatation therapy treatment room at Om.Life Spa )
Ashley Vallillo Manzi lives in Hoboken with her husband and two year old daughter. She is a family law attorney. With focus on prenuptial agreements, divorce, alimony & child custody, Ashley sees her role as "helping someone arrive at a new beginning." On the weekends, Greg, Brielle, and Ashley love to go out for brunch, playing in Church Square Park, or chasing the birds along Sinatra Drive. With lots of friends and family (her siblings live here too!) this family is always on the go.