10 Hacks To Give You More Quality Time. With Yourself.
Oftentimes, when I’m having conversations with clients and the topic of love languages comes up, something that I typically stress is it’s hard for you to expect your spouse to fluently speak your love language to you when you don’t even do that for yourself. For instance, my top love language is words of affirmation. What do I look like, out here expecting those around me to verbally affirm me, if I’m being self-deprecating in the process? It’s kind of another message for another time but far too many people are expecting their partner to basically break their necks to speak their love language and it’s basically because they want them to overcompensate for where they lack in being loving to themselves. Ouch and amen.
When it comes to quality time, specifically, let’s change that today. Whether your top love language happens to be quality time (giving someone undivided attention for a period of time) or you just know that you don’t prioritize “you time” nearly enough, here are 10 hacks that can help you to love on yourself, in this manner, just a little bit more. Because you absolutely deserve it. Simple as that.
1. Meditate for 15 Minutes Every Morning
Whenever I hear “super churchy” folks refer to meditating as something that is New Age, I’m instantly like, “So, y’all must not read the Bible as much as you profess to.” One reason why I say that is because King David was quite a fan of meditation. For instance, Psalm 4:4(NKJV) says, “Be angry and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.” I get why too because meditating is good for everything from reducing stress and controlling anxiety to promoting self-awareness and inspiring empathy and kindness to others.
That’s why, no matter how packed your days might be, it’s definitely important to begin your day with at least 15 minutes of meditation. It’s one of the absolute most effective ways to spend some much-needed quality time with yourself. (If you need a little help getting into the swing of things, check out “7 Meditation Hacks (For People Who Can't Seem To Do It)”.)
2. Resist the Urge to “Edit” Your Daily To-Do List
“Overwhelmed” is a word that I hear more and more people use to describe how they feel on a consistent basis. Personally, I think that one of the main things that cause this to happen is the fact that we constantly find ourselves feeling discouraged, due to a lack of feeling as if we’ve accomplished anything, and it’s because we keep adding things to our to-do list if we have a list at all. So, with that being said, if you’re not a big list person, start becoming one and try and put no more than 5-7 things on your list on a daily basis. When those items are checked off, pat yourself on the back and LEAVE THE DAY BE (yes, I am yelling that!), so that you can have a little bit of time for yourself.
Listen, life is a trip and it’s always going to come with more stuff for you to do. A part of what it means to set boundaries is to say “no” — not just to people but oftentimes to plans as well. There are always going to be 24 hours in a day. Refuse to cram so much in that you can’t set aside at least one of those hours for yourself.
3. Take 10-Minute Breaks for Every 50 Minutes of Work
If you actually try it, this is a great work hack that can give you roughly 80 minutes of “you time” every eight-hour workday. Although you may work the kind of gig where you get two 15-minute breaks and an hour lunch break, that doesn’t mean that you can’t fit in some 10-minute breaks every hour too. Taking 10 minutes to listen to a couple of your favorite songs (or some ASMR of ocean waves or rain), journal a few thoughts, or just to inhale and exhale a bit can revive you, much like a cat nap can.
Now, based on the kind of boss that you have, you might need to be super discreet when it comes to this particular point; still, if you are, you definitely should be able to pull it off. Try it and then circle back to let us all know how it went in the comments, OK? I think you might be pleasantly surprised.
4. Actually Take Your Lunch Break
Speaking of lunch breaks, the law requires that your job give you one, so you should require, to yourself, that you take it. I don’t mean eating an energy bar while you’re still sitting at your desk to “finish something up real quick” either. Also, if you work at home, and it’s very easy to go 10-12 hours without stepping away from your computer, you REALLY need to take heed to what I am saying.
Aside from the fact that taking your lunch is yet another way to spend a little bit of quality time with yourself (especially if you go to a location where you can be alone; if you work from home, at least go into your kitchen, bedroom or on your porch for a change of scenery), experts say that eating a full lunch can give your body an energy boost, help your brain to become more productive, reduce irritability, decrease stress levels and help you to get through your day so much easier. A lot of y’all don’t take your lunch and you can feel it. Make doing it super essential and watch how much better your life becomes.
5. Refuse to Take Calls on Your Drive Home (and Go the Long Way Home)
My goddaughter’s mom hosts an Apple radio show. Aside from writing, a lot of you already know that I counsel married couples. Sometimes, we are TALKED OUT, yet we’ll still try to get a convo in while running errands in order to get some “girl time” in. I’m pretty sure that a lot of you also take this approach with some of your own peeps, but if you already know that once you get home, time is not going to be yours again, try and avoid hopping on the phone during your commute home. Use that time instead to listen to a podcast or audiobook or — here’s a novel idea — ride in silence (trust me, silence can be good). Oh, and if you want to get a little more time in, use your GPS system to look at what a longer route home would be. Sometimes, even just 10 more minutes alone in your car can make all the difference in the world, chile.
6. Write Down Five Things You Love About Yourself at the End of Every Week
Here’s a twist on the quality time approach. Unfortunately (and I really do mean that), 8 times out of 10, whenever I ask someone to share five things that they like about themselves and five things that they don’t, they can always rattle the “cons” right off while the “pros” seem to be a struggle. Listen, a part of the benefit of spending some quality time with yourself is so that you can remind yourself of your own value. One way to do that is to not let one single week pass you by without jotting down five things that happened, within that same week, that you are proud of.
It could be getting to work on time every day, not snapping on your co-worker, or saving money on takeout by cooking — whatever. This is a wise quality time practice because the more you get into the habit of clapping for yourself, the easier it will be to cultivate self-confidence and inner stability. Try it this week. See what I mean.
7. Make Bath Time a Total Experience
I don’t expect most of y’all to remember the old-school Calgon commercials. The gist is that, after a long hard day, a woman would “lose herself” in a bubble bath that was filled with Calgon products. You know, something else that I am is a doula and if there’s one thing that many moms tell me that they miss about pre-kids (and shoot, sometimes even pre-marriage) life is being able to use the bathroom in complete and total peace. No matter what your lifestyle may consist of, please don’t get caught into the habit — which is more like a rut — of only seeing showering (check out “How To Turn Your Showers Into A Tranquil DIY Spa”) and bathing (check out “How About You Treat Yourself To A Luxurious Fall-Themed Bath?” and “Make 'National Bathtub Party Day' Your Favorite Day Of The Year”) from a purely functional standpoint. Creating an oasis, each and every time you’re in there, can help to relax you, rejuvenate you and center you. It’s not a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity.
8. Go to Bed 30-45 Minutes Earlier
Before you try and give me a million reasons why this sounds close to impossible, hear me out. Some research reveals that most people spend roughly around 145 minutes on some type of social media app a day. So, is it that you can’t get into bed earlier, or is it just that you need to manage your time more wisely? And what should you get into bed earlier for? To decompress. To read a chapter of a book. To rub your feet down with some lavender or CBD oil. To sip on a cup of tea. Shoot — to just CHILL.
When people are in a long-term relationship and share a home together, I recommend doing this, so that they can get some pillow talk (and maybe some sex) in. When you’re single, it’s so you can relax and just be. Listen, if you can figure out how to spend an hour scrolling on Instagram, you can find 30 minutes to start at the ceiling and deep breathe at night. I promise you that.
9. Use Your Personal Days
The reason why I put this down towards the bottom of this article is, I can’t tell you how many times folks have told me that they can’t remember the last time they’ve taken a vacation, let alone had a day off. Yeah, this is what personal days can be used for. Although you might be “programmed” into thinking that they are for doctor’s visits or family emergencies, the keyword to pay attention to is “personal” — meaning, it’s NOBODY’S BUSINESS (yep, I’m yelling that too) what you are using them for.
Waiting until holidays or summertime until you can take some time off is pretty stressful to even think about. So is always using personal days to do business-related stuff. It really is OK to use one of your days to just lie around and do absolutely nothing. You don’t need an excuse to spend time alone with yourself so…don’t make any.
10. Date Yourself
I mean, maybe it’s the ambivert in me but whenever folks look at me crazy when I say that I actually prefer to eat and go to movies alone (most times), I tend to return the same facial expression because — how in the world can you not dig taking yourself out on dates? Like, what in the world? Especially if you are a single person, if there are two things you shouldn’t put off, it’s taking yourself to places you want to go and dating yourself the way you want to be dated. Even though going with a boo can be dope, there is still compromise that is involved. Going out alone means that you can do whatever, whenever, however without anyone’s cosign.
And when you “set the bar” by spending time with yourself in this kind of way, you start to get — and I mean REALLY get — how much of a privilege it is to let others join in with you. It’s the best kind of quality time. Feel me? Go on a couple of dates alone and, in no time, I bet that you will.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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As much as I talk about sex, this is a topic that I was excited to shed a spotlight on. Why? It’s simple, really. Despite how sexed — and sometimes it really does seem oversexed — that our culture and society may be, virgins are not extinct. Believe it or not, it’s been reported that around 27 percent of guys are still virgins when they first step foot on a college campus (as a freshman) and, globally, approximately 38 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 are still virgins too. And even though it’s not a ton of ‘em, there are still some virgins who are over 40 (I personally know three, although they declined to be interviewed for this article).
And even though it really does seem like, over the past 50-60 years or so, virginity has been looked at as something that should be ridiculed, side-eyed, or even flat-out dismissed, I don’t feel that way at all. Fourteen sex partners and many lessons later, I actually get that there are many perks that come with waiting. Not only that, but I’ve encountered enough virgins in my time to get that, like most things in life, virginity is not a monolith, there are tons of reasons why people choose not to have sex until later in life and, if there’s one thing that you can’t really “do over” (because no, there is no such thing as a “born-again virgin.” You lose your virginity ONCE) is “losing” your virginity (I prefer to say “giving.” You know where it is)— being careful and even uber-cautious about how and when your first time goes down is something that I very much so respect.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. As someone who gave my “conscious virginity” (I am a survivor of molestation, which is why I put it that way) at 19, I wanted to hear from women of that age and older who still haven’t “partaken of the fruit” just yet. First, to give their journey a voice and second, to remind others who may not be so vocal about their own virginal sexual status that, no matter what social media may be yapping about, when it comes to the topic of virginity, they are certainly not alone — and there is definitely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
*Per usual, when it comes to these types of interviews that I conduct, middle names have been used.*
“It’s not like I planned to be this age and still a virgin. When I was in high school, I thought I would be married by now. I’m not, and that’s why I’m still a virgin. Does this mean I’m waiting until marriage? I am. I don’t see the point in giving some man my all without that level of commitment. I personally admire women who can because I don’t have the emotional strength or mental stamina to go through that kind of stress or pain — especially multiple times. I just think there is already enough to worry about in life than if I’m gonna get an STD, get pregnant by someone I don’t want to deal with for the rest of my life, or even if some man is going to call the next day.
"And before y’all even start — yes, I know that marriage comes with risks too. But if a man is willing to pledge his life to me and sign a legal contract to prove it just to get some, I’d rather go that route than some dude I met at a club or a guy who I dated for a couple of months, and it didn’t work out. To each their own, and this is the way that I choose to do it.”
“I’ve always been called an old soul. I don’t think that 22 is old, but it is old, these days, to be a virgin. Some people assume that I’m one for religious reasons. Really, it’s because I’m observant, and my sisters and friends who already gave it up usually had more drama in their lives than anything. I just want my first time to be with someone who, when I look back on it, I don’t have regrets. I’m not looking for the perfect guy, but damn, can he at least not ghost me, give me an orgasm, and keep the moment to himself instead of telling all of his boys? I don’t think that’s too much to ask — and if it is…oh well.”
“The question I get asked all of the time is if I’m saving it for marriage. I am. I used to say that I was waiting until I got engaged or at least fell in love, but I have friends who did that, and months after they had sex, the guys were gone. I know that marriage doesn’t guarantee anything, but I have some other friends who were virgins on their wedding night, and their lives just seem to be less intense.
“Not having sex has shown the true colors and real agendas of a lot of guys, so while it does get lonely, being this way makes it easier to see who is serious about a relationship and who just wants to get their d — k wet. Virginity can be the ultimate male marriage material predictor. At least it’s been that way for me.”
“I almost gave it up to my first love, and ‘he’ didn’t happen until college. The break-up damn near turned me into a basket case, so that proved to me that I’m not really for a sexual relationship. I think the best way to explain it is, until I know that I can emotionally handle giving myself to someone and it possibly not working out, I need to stay just where I’m at…and I’m just not there yet.”
“The timing of this is crazy because I almost lost my virginity last weekend. It’s a long story, but I was going to give it to a guy friend because I want my first time to be with someone who I trust. We didn’t go through with it because he said that he didn’t want to chance me regretting it and it ruining our friendship. I think it’s interesting that it seems that men value a woman’s virginity more than women do these days. Anyway, all I know is it won’t be just some random guy. If I don’t trust you with my heart, you will never be able to have my body. My standard will definitely be someone who was my friend first.”
“I’ve been too busy to give up my virginity. Sounds crazy, but it’s still the truth. I’ve always been very career-driven, so after getting my master’s, I decided to do a lot of traveling and then buy a home. It’s probably been over the past few months that my sexual status has even crossed my mind because dating just hasn’t been a priority.
“I guess you can say that having a full life is why I’m a virgin. When I can fit a man into my schedule, and I find him just as stimulating as what I currently have going on, I can almost assure you that my sexual status will change. Until then…stamps on the passport are my orgasms.”
“I’ve had plenty of oral sex — not giving, receiving. Some people say that, technically, I’m not a virgin anymore, but I guess I’ll speak for the women who fall into my special situation. The reason why I’ve never gone down on a guy is because I want that to be reserved for the one [who] I first have intercourse with. The reason why several have gone down on me? You know how guys are — they see virginity as a challenge and will go the distance to be the first. If they wanna try, who am I to stop them?
"As far as what I’m waiting on…I don’t really see it as ‘waiting.' I am open to it. I just haven’t been with someone who seems like he is who I should give it to. I think that the guy who never brings sex up will probably be the one who piques my interest. I’m already a challenge. I think I’m looking for someone who is one, too.”
“I’m a virgin because I’m focused. There are too many women at my school who are so distracted because of what some guy is doing or didn’t do — and I don’t have the time. I want to be able to have my master’s degree before my 23rd birthday, and I’m on the way to making that happen. I haven’t told anyone this, but the present I want to give myself is losing my virginity for graduation. I think an orgasm for all of my hard work makes sense. I know who I want the guy to be, too. He doesn’t know. Hope he doesn’t blow it. I’ll try to keep you posted.”
“All of the holy books value virginity, and that’s why you will never be able to convince me that there is not a serious spiritual breakdown in our society. What used to be respected is now a so-called social construct, and to me, that sounds like so many people are so hyper-sexed with no real reason or purpose that they want to take the ‘misery loves company’ approach — that because they weren’t taught to value virtue and virginity, they want as many other people as possible to follow suit. That will never be me. Until I meet the man who is deserving of being the first and only to enter into my body and spirit, I will remain a virgin and very proud of it.”
“I honestly don’t know why I’m still a virgin. Remember how you told me [Shellie] that after the first couple of years of abstinence, you got pickier and pickier? That’s the way I’ve been all of my life. I’m sure that sex is amazing, but it’s also complicated, physically kind of messy, and exposes you to a world of stuff that you don’t have to think about when you’re a virgin. I’m not scared to have sex, but I’m not in a rush. Look at me — I’m sure I’ll open these legs up one day, but I’m not checking off the calendar or anything. When I have room to explore the good and bad of sex, I’ll be more aggressive about it.”
There you have it — proof that there are at least ten virgins on the planet who aren’t still in high school. And what I like about each of them is there is both a confidence and focus outside of their sexual status that serves as a great reminder that sex is a part of who we are yet…it’s certainly not everything. And you know what? It never was designed to be.
So yes, kudos to them for having a personal type of conviction, for whatever the reason, and standing by it.
Virgins or not, it’s a reminder that we all should be firm in our standards about…something.
Amen? 1000 percent.
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