Finding a moment of peace in the midst of a hectic day is all in the timing.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated April 18, 2018

Don’t we all wish there was an extra, secret hour in the day? One no one else knew about, that we could use to relax, finish up laundry, workout, or even just sit in absolute silence? Unless you have a time turner, Harry Potter–style, finding that magical extra hour may not be possible—but you can always make it appear for yourself.

That’s what Jessica Biel does. Real Simple caught up with the mother, actress, and activist at American Express’s The American Express Experience in New York City, where the The Sinner star dished on her best tip for finding “me” time (and time to exercise).

“You have to put it on your schedule, in permanent ink,” Biel said. “You pick that hour or those few hours and it’s there—it’s your time.”

Putting this time aside, whether it’s every day or just once a week, for whatever activity brings you peace or joy can seem daunting, but the time investment in your own mental health will pay you back in spades: Think better moods, more energy, and other positive emotional, mental, and physical benefits.

According to Biel, eventually, it can become a habit: “[This time] really is the one way that you refresh your mind again and refresh your interest in what you’re doing and in your family.”

As a mom (her son with husband Justin Timberlake, Silas, is three years old) juggling family responsibilities with professional opportunities (such as leading the national campaign for sex-positive resource Tryst Network), Biel is trying to find regular me time and rejuvenation time in her own life. She said it allows her to return to her work or her home and son feeling inspired and energized, feelings all working moms are likely striving toward in their own lives.

It’s all about committing to giving yourself space, and time, to breathe and recuperate from whatever life throws at you. Easier said than done, right?