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Why "me time" is essential for your health

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

How to be a happier and healthier mom

We often talk about needing a little "me time" but is it really that big of a deal? In one word – yes! Carving out a little time for yourself relieves stress and allows you an opportunity to recharge your batteries.

It's essential for your health and your happiness to take some time out for yourself every day.

Give me a break

Even Super Mom needs a break now and again. You won't be able to take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself. In order to understand the importance of me time, we need to discuss the dangers of stress and overworking your mind and body.

Question: Do moms get to have any alone time? >>

The causes of stress

Everyone gets stressed. Work, family, finances, relationships, and just simply being too busy or overscheduled can cause stress in your life. Additionally, you can bring stress upon yourself if you are a type-A personality, a perfectionist or set unrealistic expectations of yourself. Moms often try to be everything to everybody all the time, but it's impossible. You'll end up stressed out and burned out if you don't scale back a little bit and carve out a little me time in your busy schedule.

Read about how to balance career, family and self >>

The symptoms of stress

The warning signs and symptoms of stress are numerous. Cognitively speaking, they range from anxiety and worry to poor judgment and problems focusing. You may have a short temper, feel overwhelmed or be generally moody when you are stressed out. For some people, they have rapid heartbeats, chest pains, gastrointestinal problems and other aches and pains when experiencing stress. You also may sleep too little, eat too much, or even turn to drugs and alcohol during especially stressful periods of your life.

Read about how to deal with stress >>

The dangers of stress

If left unchecked, stress can take a serious toll on your mind and body. Long-term, chronic stress can lead to both emotional and physical health problems. Stress can suppress the immune system, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack. It can speed up the aging process, make you more susceptible to depression, and even worsen diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Read about what stress does to your body >>

Me time and stress

In order to avoid stress overload and burnout, you need to provide yourself some me time on a regular basis. "Me time" means different things to different people. It can mean getting a massage and a pedicure every Friday after work, or doing 30 minutes of meditation every night. It can mean waking up every Saturday morning and going for a drive alone, or vegging out on the couch on Sunday afternoon watching Lifetime movies.

Over time, being stressed out or overworked will deplete your creativity, clarity and focus. Even just 15 to 30 minutes of time for yourself every day can make an enormous difference in your life. It can help improve your concentration, inspire your creativity and increase your happiness. Do yourself a favor and find some extra time for yourself today and every day. It will make you a happier, healthier and better mom.

More about me time

I'll take a little me time, please!
How to find "me time"
Real moms share: How I carve out me time

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