A New Normal: Downtime Being Reinvented

by Linda Daniels

Author Linda Daniels

A cliché about relationships has been that men are the ones who need their space. But new trends show that women in relationships are joining men in seeking out “me” time as well. This trend has been driven no doubt by women’s increasing numbers in the workforce and the toll of today’s “24 X 7 always on” mentality.

“Man caves” or “mantuarys” began to springing up several years ago as refuges and retreats for men from the world. Man caves are usually a room found inside the home, but can even be a garage; any place a man can use as his space to unwind, in his own way. The unspoken assumption has been until recently that the woman’s space was the rest of the house to oversee and manage as she sees fit.

Adding man caves to a home has had some positive effects for many relationships and women are becoming inspired to seek out spaces of their own. While there is no catchy acronym yet, the premise of a woman’s sanctuary is similar to the man cave, it’s a refuge in which a woman can retreat from the world, where she has time to herself.

A good man cave typically has items of special interest to him such as trophies, military or sports memorabilia, a large flat screen TV, and maybe a small frig with beer and/or snacks and free weights

or the like.

The Kansas City Star recently sponsored a Man Cave contest to kick off the football season. One of the contestants set up his garage with a 200-gallon aquarium, a 70-inch television, pool table, dart board, bar, hockey table and train set. Now that’s some testosterone!

The man cave has received some serious status and recognition as Merriam-Webster has now added the word to its dictionary. As for the Lady Cave or Lady Sanctuary, they are not in the dictionary yet, as they are a fairly new phenomenon, but one that is growing quickly. Man cave and Woman cave trends might be thought of as a sort of grown up tree houses, as one never really outgrows the need for a little time to yourself every now and then.

The female version whatever it be called the diva den, the nesting nook, the rejuvenation station, the girls club or something similar, is a place for the serenity a woman craves and should be full of her favorite things. Women (and men) need to know that this new normal, is not a guilty pleasure as long as they are not shirking their responsibilities. It’s a good thing to take moments for yourself now and then, to just be “being” and not “doing”. Having time when one is not being responsible for work and/or other responsibilities is healthy and deserved from time to time.

Having a little restorative time in today’s adrenalin rush world is downright liberating. We all need time to unwind, “ahhhh moments” that refuel our spiritual and emotional tanks. There’s something retro wonderful about carving out a quiet moment in time for yourself.

And “me time” has not only benefits for you individually, but benefits for couples and families as well. Spending time apart gives you time to refuel and reboot, and time apart gives you an opportunity to miss one another…and to move from “me time” to “we time” once again.