. taking a time out .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on November 6, 2012

Good news! My appetite decided to kick in.
Bad news! At the inconvenient hour of 12:17 AM.

I was laying in bed all warm and cozy last night, ready to drift into dreamland, when out of nowhere - PANG.

First thought? God stomach, really?! What the fudge?!
Second thought? Ugh, but I’m sooooooo comfy. 
Third thought? Fiiiiiine body – you win – but I don’t want to hear any exhausted grumblings tomorrow.

And just in case you’re wondering, yes I carry out internal monologues, and no, I am not crazy. So off to the kitchen I went to whip up something to eat. Doop, doop, doop.

Fortunately, it tasted a whole lot better than it looks, but I wasn’t about to bust out the DSLR and lights at 12:30 on a Tuesday morning – I just wanted to crawl back into bed. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite play out that way. I’m not sure if it was the food or cold kitchen floor that woke me up, but I didn’t end up getting to sleep until around 1:30 [again]. Day 3 and going strong! I have no idea what I’m running on at this point, but I’ll worry about it later. All I know is that I’m plenty awake and ready to get into Day 6 of NHBPMhow to take time for yourself.

I love being busy. Not only does it give me the satisfaction of feeling productive, but it makes the days go by way faster too – it keeps things interesting. That being said, while I don’t mind running around like a headless chicken during the day, the early mornings and late evenings are a whole other story. That there is my time – hands off.

What constitutes ‘my’ time? Anything my heart desires. I often read…

Blog…

Play video games…

Play more ‘acceptable’ games…

Pamper myself…

Bake something…

Go for a walk…

… but whatever it is that I end up doing, ‘me’ time is time that I set aside for doing whatever the heck it is that I want to do, sans guilt.

We live in a culture that’s obsessed with productivity - What are you doing? How much are you doing? When can you do more?  – and all of the go-go-go messages that we’re constantly being bombarded with make it extremely easy to feel lazy, guilty, or selfish whenever we try to take time for ourselves. You should be doing something

I’m sorry, but screw that.

Doing ‘nothing’ is doing something – a whole lot of something. It’s extremely important for us to take care of ourselves, not only for our own well-being, but for the benefit of others as well. After all, the better we feel, the better we’re able to give our best selves to those around us. It’s not easy, though, learning how to be a bit more selfish; I remember actually hating how unproductive I felt in the beginning. But now? Interrupt me during my quiet time and… choice words will be exchanged. So here are a few tips to help you become a little more selfish too ;)

Keep in mind how important it is… Spending time relaxing is extremely beneficial to us, both mentally and physically; and the better we feel, the better we work and the more productive we become in the long run. It also improves our interactions with others, so that we’re ultimately not even being selfish, are we? Nope!

Schedule it in to your day… Even if it’s only 10 minutes to start with, pick a time and commit to it. Even if it feels awkward and wasteful at first, stick it out and make it an everyday kind of thing. I remember when I was going to school, I promised myself that I’d never do any homework or study after 9 PM. Even if I wasn’t entirely done, the books closed at 9 sharp and the rest of the night was mine. Now I reserve my early mornings and late evenings for quiet time – it gives me a great opportunity to prep for and unwind from my day.

Learn how to say no… Oftentimes we put far too much on our plates and end up not even having any extra time to squeeze in for ourselves. We’re not superhuman – we can’t do everything, and trying to will only make us go a little loopy. It’s okay to say no, and not only to others, but to ourselves as well. We don’t have to cook an elaborate dinner every night – a quick meal will do. We don’t have to fit a workout in if we’re tired – rest is better in the long run.

Enjoy it… Alone time does not mean sitting in silence and meditating. It sounds wonderful in theory, but being able to put it into practice is a whole other story. As much as I love my time alone, I cannot spend it meditating – I end up too frustrated so I just don’t bother. Don’t force yourself to do something you hate just because it seems ‘appropriate’. Make whatever you do during your ‘me time’ something you love to do.

So whatcha waiting for?! Go do something for yourself!

. – . – . – .

Have you ever had to get out of bed to satisfy a complaining stomach?
Do you take time for yourself every day? What do you do? 

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex @ therunwithin November 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I need this badly. I am the worst and I mean the worst at taking time for myself (if you have not already guessed). being busy was always a coping mechanism for me but it wasn’t always a good one. it helped me avoid what was really going on. I also think that taking time for yourself is self love which I suck at. it is something I need to work on for sure
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Thought of you while writing this. Hope you start working on it and seeing some progress, because you deserve it <3

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3 Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body November 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Yes, I love this so much! It can be hard to schedule time for oneself, but it is totally worth it. My productivity at all other times of the day skyrockets if I manage to take time for myself at some point. I do all sorts of things when I am having my me time, many of which are similar to yours. One though that I love is just blasting music and dancing around. Really fun, and really stress relieving! :)
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4 Alexandra November 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

AHHH I needed to hear this SO bad–definitely gotta work on pencilling in more “me time.” I get so caught up in studies, homework, and all that poop and forget about taking care of myself. That’s when my health tends to suffer…no bueno, no bueno at all. :/
Every day I do take time to pray and spend a little me time with God, but not as much as I’d like. I mean, I’d love to be able to just read, draw, watch Disney movies, and nap all day, but dumb college work has to ruin the fun haha Gotta hold out for Thanksgiving and Christmas break WOOO!!!!! :D
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5 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Not much longer now! We don’t have Thanksgiving to look forward to anymore, but Christmas is coming up fast! EeeeEEEee!

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6 Katy November 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I love this post and it’s so true! I am surrounded by people who are always on the go and they never have time for themselves. It’s sad because this makes them burn out and their lives are much less enjoyable. I like giving myself me-time. It’s lovely :)

xxx
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7 Missy November 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I love the last part…enjoy it. For some people there relaxation may come in mopping the floors or watching suspenseful show or film…to each his own. The whole “warm bath and meditate and drink green tea” isn’t for everyone.
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8 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Sometimes I find cleaning really relaxing. I was going to admit it but then I thought people would start seeing me as OCD ;)

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9 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate November 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I always schedule some time to relax every day! Even if it’s only 30 minutes to watch TV or something.
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10 Caitlin November 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I just wrestled with this topic on my post on Sunday! Love hearing about the importance of it from others and think you have some wonderful suggestions for how to make it work and why it’s important! I take time out for myself every day to run or workout and blog, but I think I need to get better at doing more restful things too…like reading and baking :)

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11 Teagan November 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I’ve woken up many times laying in bed with my stomach grumbling, and I’ve also been kept awake due to hunger pains – unfortunately I’m trying to get over the one the the last hurdles of my ED. I live alone and I cannot keep food in my house. My pantry is bare and my fridge contains bottles of cold water. I just know if I did keep food in my house I’d eat it all in once sitting and it’s not worth the mental anguish. Thankfully I live alone so I can hide it easily.

I love my alone time. Don’t get me wrong I’ll happily go out and socialise but too much time alone and I get super cranky and crave my alone time. Like you I love to read and play video games all accompanied by a glass or two of wine and magical playlists I’ve complied on Spotify.

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12 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Love this. It’s so important to make time for yourself!!
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13 Shreya @ rushofendorphins November 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I used to be the girl who needed to go out and meet friends every day, and I’d usually not be back home till the next morning. I can’t imagine that now because I need my evenings (and early mornings!) to myself! To read, listen to music, or just do anything ‘unproductive’.

I’ve also learnt that family is so important: I remember when I used to get so annoyed by my parents – now I grab any chance to sit down and have a conversation with them!

Have a great day love.
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14 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I used to be the same exact way, both with going out every night and being annoyed by my parents. Funny how things change, eh? But I’m definitely starting to notice myself getting a little more tempted to start going out again… we’ll see how long I can keep it up, though!

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15 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables November 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I am so bad at taking time for myself. It is starting to wear on me…. I NEED to start scheduling this time! It is so important, and I know I need!
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16 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin November 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I am the same way in that my mornings and evenings are my “me” time. I don’t feel guilty at all about doing whatever the heck I want, especially since most of the day I am being productive. I also now really indulge in me time on weekends since I work full-time and days off are far and few. I studied abroad in Italy and every single Italian I met said that Americans were crazy in that they took pride in always going going going. I think our culture could learn a TON from Italians (and most European cultures). It was crazy that stores would all just randomly close for hours in the middle of the day so the workers could enjoy a 3 hour lunch and nap! Whatttt no fair!

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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Tell me about it! I’m always shocked by how different things are in Europe. I swear I’m living in the wrong place!

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18 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

So more things to add to my list of things I adore about you: you’re a fellow gamer girl. I love that!

And books…man, I really need to read an actual (non school-related) book. Between school and blogging I have not had the time lately!

I have the same “me-time slots” as you. No matter how busy I am with school, the time before breakfast and after 8-9 pm *preferably, right after dinner) is my me time. No schoolwork, just doing what I want to do (which usually involves blogging, blog reading or catching up on my favourite shows).
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19 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

:shock: A fellow gamer?! Squee! What games?!

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20 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 7, 2012 at 5:45 am

Well, I never could get into WoW, but I do a lot of the Sims (I know), Pretty much anything in the Final Fantasy series (was working my way through 13, but that pretty much stopped when school started) and a lot of RPG’s and survival horror (Resident Evil, Silent Hill). Pretty much grew up on my Playstation :-p
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21 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

Ohhh Silent Hill… I was completely obsessed with that series for so long. But now I adore you even more than I already did because of your closet nerdiness :D

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22 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

Silent Hill was definitely a huge favourite! I actually live in the city where the first movie was filmed :-p
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23 Austin November 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Girl, have no shame about the sims 3. It is a brilliant game!
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24 Ellie@Fit for the Soul November 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

ahhh! so glad we think alike in those terms! I just hate how the “North American” culture depicts living as being busy, instead of actually enjoying life and relaxing! As I was growing up in Argentina, I always witnessed shops closing down around 3pm because people there know how to take time-out and take a little siesta, and then they go back to work! Sometimes I guess that could be too extreme, but the point is that we (including myself) need to chill out and just…be, hehe :D Great thoughts girl!
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25 Kate November 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm

aaah I can’t LIVE without my “me” time either! And I also like the early mornings and evenings – I count my workout as my “me” time in the morning, and I guess some people think it’s odd that I prefer to run and bike alone…but that’s how I like it lol. And I Love relaxing in the evening with blog reading and talking to my momma on the phone :-D it’s SO important, and you’re so right – we’re human BEings, not human DOings. it’s okay to just BE!

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26 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

“BEings, not DOings” <– Love this so much!

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27 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale November 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Oh man. I was getting up every night in the middle of the night for so long, I keep a granola bar in my sock drawer now, just in case. I haven’t needed one in a while (thank you happy body!!), but it’s good to know that it’s not so far away that I’ll actually have to navigate a hallway and stairs.
So. I was going to do a post that followed me through my day today and realized just how insane it looks … blogging is what keeps me sane, but it also makes me a little insane sometimes. If that makes sense. I wouldn’t give it up for the world though. Nor would I Le Boy. Nor would I running. But with work and class and walking the dog and basic hygiene added in … Something’s gotta give. I sacrifice sleep TOO often. I haven’t slept more than 6 hours in a row in nearly a month … This isn’t balance. I need to figure my shite out. Jeepers, lady — make me contemplate re-arranging my life why don’tcha!! ;)
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28 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

!! Get to sleep, girl! Blogging can wait until tomorrow!

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29 kris November 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

YES! – It’s nearly impossible for me to sleep on an empty stomach. Ive come to the realization that if I dont get out of bed I won’t be able to fall back asleep.
You’re so right! Time to ourselves is so so important – I like to bake, watch tv, and read blogs!
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30 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie November 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I definitely agree on having to enjoy your alone time–otherwise, what’s the point? Everyone has different things that help them relax and for me, one of them is shopping. I know it can be a stressful activity, at least when the stores are crowded, but I love those times when I hit up the mall or Whole Foods and I can freely browse without getting bumped into every minute. And sleeping is another biggie for me, I’ve gotta have my 8-10 hours every night or I am just out of it the next day! But I know a lot of people can survive on way less than that, so we’re definitely all different.
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31 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oh what I wouldn’t give for 8-10 hours, especially now! And shopping is great for ‘me’ time. If only my wallet appreciated it as much as I do ;)

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32 Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oh I’m so with you about “me” time! As much as I enjoy being busy, getting things done, socializing, etc being able to focus on myself daily is SO important mentally for me! Like you I can’t handle meditating or just sitting in silence. The concept of it sounds nice but my mind ends up wandering too much and I get too distracted. Instead my idea of “me” time involves watching mindless TV, cooking, spa day (or even a spa hour will do), blogging/reading other blogs, and going on long drives (or walks) with good music. And to be honest, I end up being MORE productive on the days which I schedule in some “me” time because I feel reinvigorated and motivated to get things done.
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33 Floey November 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

I love this post. I really need to remember to take time for myself to take care of my physical and mental needs. I tend to think that I don’t deserve to be taken care of fully. I really need to pamper myself.
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34 Jessie November 7, 2012 at 1:35 am

I just can’t believe you didn’t bust out the DSLR and lights at 12:30 in the morning. Geesh, what kind of blogger are you!!! KIDDING :) :)

I do love this post girl. “Me time” is so important. I think I may go crazy if I didn’t have it to be honest. Before moving to Kuwait I used to take long baths, but since moving here.. I haven’t figured out how to actually use the tub besides the shower part haha. Now I just either walk, bake, blog, or play games :).

Yup just last night i had to get outta bed at 11 to nourish my body. I ended up having a piece of dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter with a little whip cream on top. Oh my, it was good!!
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35 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

I know, right? #bloggerfail And so wow… way to trump my midnight snack :P Chocolate, [almond butter], and whip cream sound divine.

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36 Lucie November 7, 2012 at 1:36 am

You are so right! Me time is SO important! Oh well, I am one of those meditators :-) but yes, it is hard in the beginning, but meanwhile I love it. And I love my 8 hours of sleep, blogging, reading – and believe me or not – as much as I love my BF, it is so nice once in a while when he is out and I have all the rooms for myself, haha! I never took time for myself in the past, I felt guilty. But today, YES for doing nothing!!
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37 Jess November 7, 2012 at 3:38 am

Yeah me time and rest are way underestimated. Pre kids it was much easier to have me time, but I didn’t take advantage enough I was too busy being busy. Now I have kids it is much much harder. I still try to workout once they fall asleep, read and blog.
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38 Laura November 7, 2012 at 4:18 am

I think our brains run on the same thought processes. I texted my best friend yesterday telling her how stressed out I was…how overwhelming I was becoming and over the smallest of things. I told her I had no idea why and I wasn’t sure what to do. Her initial response? “Are you taking time for yourself?” My response? No. How could I? I work two jobs and don’t have money to do things I enjoy. I really wanted to take up a yoga class or get a massage but I couldn’t even afford that.

Ten minutes later I got an email telling me that my friend had purchased a groupon for me. A one-hour massage just 20 minutes from my house. I’m taking Friday and dedicating it to ME. Call me selfish if you will, but I’ll stick with healthy.
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39 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Selfish? Pft! I’m gonna go with lucky. Enjoy it girl!

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40 Hollie November 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

I’ve been there with the food. I actually have a few snacks somewhat close to my bed (not really on purpose but once I was hungry and didn’t want to leave) so I can stay warm LOL. I love taking time for myself, and it is never working out either. Just relaxing and hanging out in my bed…normally in the wee mornings.
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41 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 7, 2012 at 6:09 am

I’m the same way as you – I reserve mornings and late evenings for “me” time! I never do school work past 9:00 because I just can’t concentrate that late! Also we shouldn’t have to spend every second of our days working. Life is about more than just being productive!
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42 Kat November 7, 2012 at 7:34 am

Your so awesome lady :)
Love all of these tips, and you are so right. In a world where laziness is taboo, sometimes thats all I want to do! Some of my best weekends have been ones where I am home alone and just lay on the couch, watch my favorite movies/shows, and cook whatever and whenever I want. Having no schedule is often the best remedy for a busy one in my opinion :)
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43 Brittany November 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Ohh my gosh do you really play WOW!? I don’t know why, but for some reason if you do that would be soooo freaking amazing!! HAH!! I love me time, I need to start making it more of a priority in my life for sure. I love your book collection, you really did get the same two books I did the other week!

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44 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Haha yeah I really play WoW. I’ve been playing since waaaaaaaay back in the day when it first came out.

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45 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) November 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Love this! I definitely believe that “me time” is essential.

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46 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Haha yea, I’ve gotten out of bed if my stomach is growling but I usually try to ignore it. Although if I can’t fall back asleep then I go grab something!
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47 Shannon November 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Guilty… I do not make time for my self that is fun and relaxing. At least not a lot of it. It is something I need to work on. I need to say NO and stop overloading myself. I am important and sometimes I have to come first. Thanks for the reminder and the push to actually do it
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48 Lisa November 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Love this post, hm I say that about all your posts haha. Yep, love the tips! And I definitely have the early morning and late evenings as strictly time for myself. I used to never want to have “me time” because it would mean I would feel anxious and like I wasn’t productive. But, luckily I’ve started getting past those issues! There is more to life than just work!
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49 Austin November 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

You’re right; it is so important to make some time for ourselves every day. I’ve actually gotten better at this since I’ve become a mom because I recognize that I am a better wife and mother when I’ve spent some time on myself. I like to take showers or baths, do yoga, pray, educate myself (math, yoga, science, art), draw, cook/recipe plan, clean. Mostly I do yoga and draw because those are the most “me” things – they leave me feeling like I just did something that only benefits myself. I love to dance but don’t do it in my alone time because my “me” time is usually while my daughter is sleeping (early morning, nap time, late night) and I don’t want to wake her up. So we just dance together when she’s up!

I have gotten up in the middle of the night to eat. I actually did it recently enough to remember about it. I ate a banana. I think I got so hungry because my daughter was breastfeeding a lot that night. I usually try to go to bed with a full belly.
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50 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate November 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Aw that is certainly annoying to have to get out of your cozy bed to eat! I always make sure to have an evening snack very close to my bedtime to avoid that and to make sure I am not starving in the morning. And I try to never feel guilty about scheduling “me” time, it is my favorite part of the day. :-)
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51 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I know I shouldn’t, but I always feel sooooooo guilty when I’m not doing something. It stinks!
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52 Chelsea@Ahintofhealthy November 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

The new picture on the side of your page= GORGEOUS!!!!
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53 Kailey November 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

CAN I GET A HECK YES!?
I hate that sometimes I feel guilty for taking time out to unwind/de-stress when I know I should be studying, but a girl needs her “me” time. Time that is just totally unproductive and relaxing. I don’t know about you but I get SO burnt out if I go go go.
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54 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hooray for your appetite! I hate when I wake up hungry… but at least it’s back! :)

That apple juice screen save rocks. So does “down time.” Cheers to enjoying it.
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55 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) November 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I love this. ME days are so important and we all take them for granted. Everyone needs a day to just chill out, do whatever you want and not feel guilty about it. It’s so easy to get worked up
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56 Irina @ Chocolatea Time November 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Ugh trying to fall asleep with a growling stomach is the worst! Especially when you’re absolutely exhausted to the point of not even being able to drag yourself out of bed to grab a quick snack. I think the solution is simple – keep some sort of snack by your bedside at all times, right?

You know what, to be 100% completely honest – I never feel guilty/lazy when I don’t do anything. In fact, I embrace those days and welcome them with open arms. When I was younger I envied the people who claimed they always needed to “do something”. It confused me and made me feel bad about my homebody tendencies (i.e. staying at home doing nothing). Maybe it’s the European in me, but nowadays I will never allow myself to feel any sort of guilt over sitting around in my bed doing “nothing” (as you said – nothing is still something!). I truly dislike that about America – there’s this unwritten rule floating around about constant productivity while every other country in the world (well…not every but many, especially Europe) encourages “nothingness”. Grrr…where is the balance? *end rant*
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