We have the scientific proof that self-care is necessary for moms.

There’s a lot of pressure to do it all, be it all and have it all. With the never-ending daily demands on all moms, it’s crucial to shed the mom guilt. We’re here to make the case for “me time,” because self-care isn’t selfish. Taking the time you need to recharge helps you come back to your family (and your work) refreshed and ready to be the best you.

Here’s what science says: Moms get less leisure time than dads (an average of 25 hours a week vs. dads’ 28 hours) and spend more time multi-tasking (an extra 10 hours a week). However, time for yourself has so many benefits for moms. It helps you manage stress and energy levels, keeps you connected to your interests and allows you to show yourself some love during a hectic time of life. Time alone allows you to escape societal pressures and build confidence. Simply put, it prevents “mommy burnout.”

Making time to recharge and pursue personal interests is important for all moms, but especially moms who work (full- or part-time) while raising their kids. Why? Not only does “me time” provide relaxation, but it also boosts your productivity and problem-solving, provides space for self-discovery and deep thinking and enhances your relationships. Making time for yourself can contribute to a better work-life balance and greater engagement at work. Talk about a win-win.

So how do you make “me time” happen?

1. Disconnect from technology. 

Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Log off your email. Taking this step alone can free up time and space for reconnecting with yourself and the people you love. Create opportunities for life experiences where you can feel fully present. Get your hands dirty, learn new things, move your body. You’ll find fulfillment and refresh your spirit.

2. Set boundaries.

Turn your back on unnecessary (and unwanted!) criticism and say “no” more often. You don’t have to watch the neighbor’s kids for another night in a row. You don’t need to sign up for double-duty on soccer snacks just because other moms have done so in the past. Your energy is important and deserves to be protected so you can give it to the people and things that matter most.

3. Schedule “Me Time.”

Don’t let weeks and months go by. Open up the calendar, sit down with your partner, book a sitter if needed and block off time for yourself. Whether you plan to exercise, get the girls together for a night out or simply soak in the tub with a good book, make that time sacred. You wouldn’t cancel an important meeting with your boss, so view this time the same way. And “me time” doesn’t have to require hours. Sneak it into your everyday life in small, simple ways like at-home pampering, a solo walk, an interesting audiobook or a call to a friend.

As moms ourselves, we know how hard it is to carve out time for yourself. That’s why we want to encourage and empower mothers to make themselves a priority in any way that they can. “Me time” is important for your mental health, and it allows you to live and work to your fullest potential. You deserve time for you!