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"I don't belong to any gyms or go to any classes (you'd have to pay me to do yoga), so running is my exercise of choice. To fit it into my schedule, I started running to work in the morning. It means that once or twice a week, instead of a 45-minute commute, I have a 53- to 55-minute commute of 'me' time while running and listening to my favorite podcasts, typically This American Life, Planet Money, or Startup. And as a breastfeeding mom, I'm attached to a pumping machine three times a day at work and attached to my son two or three times a day at home. I swore I'd never admit this, but sometimes that is great 'me' time. At work, it gives me three quiet times a day to focus on my emails and center myself. And at home, I have a few times a day to watch 15 minutes of my favorite TV shows completely guilt-free. Right now, I'd recommend Catastrophe or Making a Murderer."—Aria Finger, CEO of DoSomething.org (opens in new tab)
"I try to start my day with a little bit of 'me' time. I sit in my kitchen and drink coffee and think about my goals for the day. I finish almost every rehearsal day with a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils, and listen to music which is great for my muscles and my mind. And I read the news and or a book every night in bed before I go to sleep."—Isabella Boylston, principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre
"As a busy working parent, I am obsessed with The Golden Hour—that hour before I wake my kids. I use the Golden Hour not just to get showered and dressed ahead of my kids, but also to do some writing or have some pillow talk with my husband so we can catch up before the whirlwind of the day begins. Waking up early makes the whole day more relaxed and smoother. You start a step ahead rather than a step behind."—Samantha Ettus, author, radio host, and work/life wellness expert
"'Me' time during the week requires scheduling. I try and take off Tuesday afternoons. It is my time to see a friend, go to a museum, go shopping, or whatever. The real downtime is on the weekends. Saturday morning I do the New York Times crossword puzzle for both Saturday and Sunday. Then on Sunday, I try to do nothing—stay in sweats all day, catch up on magazines and life, and have the whole family over for dinner. Then I get up on Monday and do it all over again. Reality is there is no rest for the weary."—Joanne Wilson, investor and board member of the High Line (opens in new tab)
"Before I could find room to take care of myself, I took an honest inventory of how I was using my time to see where I wasn't using my energy for good. I asked myself small but important questions like how many times was I unnecessarily checking email or Facebook? Or how often was I texting just to pass the time? Eliminating or lessening those unneeded habits helped me free up my time so I could have more time in the mornings for the things I need to be happy, like going for a long run or spending the morning making a healthy breakfast."—Jessica Randazza, head of marketing at Danone (opens in new tab)
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"A lot of my friends make fun of me, since I religiously schedule my 'chill' time—it's not something that happens spontaneously. Generally once a week, after having worked, I schedule time to relax (this mostly translates to watching series while eating Indian food). I also try to meditate a couple times a week with the app Headspace (opens in new tab) that does what the name implies—Harvard research even showed that it literally changes your brain!"—Sophie Kahn, cofounder of AUrate (opens in new tab)
"In the first 10 years of my career, I was horrible at setting aside time for me, that time where I have nothing I have to do. In the last year, I started scheduling 'me' time daily, whether that means making no evening plans after rehearsals or scheduling a massage or physical therapy, which is the most important 'me' time for an athlete. I realize now, the more time I allow myself peace and quiet, the longer my career will be, and that's the best time of all."—Sara Mearns, principal dancer for the New York City Ballet
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"While I am great at multitasking, when it's time for me, it's time for me! Daily exercise is the most important thing for me to start my day, and *no one* is going to interrupt that. I do it early before most people are even awake. When the weather is nice, I hike outside into the Marin Headlands, and when I travel, you will find me at a 6 a.m. Barry's Bootcamp or Soulcycle class or running around the White House. "—Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of hint Inc (opens in new tab).
"I'm an entrepreneur, so I've got to be ruthless about 'me' time if I want to have any left to myself! I make myself leave the office by 8 or 9 p.m. most nights, even if I do curl up with my laptop and a glass of wine at home to get through email. I often combine things I have to do (prepping a presentation for our board of directors, cleaning out emails) with things I like to do—drink red wine, eat tasty snacks, and sit in my favorite chair. I also almost never touch email on Saturdays."—Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of The Muse (opens in new tab)
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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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