Has anyone ever complimented you for how well you spent your day off taking a bubble bath, doing yoga, and reading your favorite book?
Has anyone ever said, “you do such a good job relaxing, what’s your secret?”
Good for you for telling them you can’t work today and spending the day on the beach!
Well if you’re anything like me then it probably sounds a little absurd to you. Taking time for yourself to do whatever is you that relaxes you doesn’t exactly get recognized, let alone praised.
You want to know what does get praised?
Wow, she works 60, 70 sometimes 80 hours a week! She only takes 1 day off or some weeks no days off. She’s really dedicated!
How does she work so much, pick up her daughter from practice, cook a healthy meal, spend time with her daughter and significant other, and keep the house clean? She must be superwoman!
She goes to school, works 2 jobs, is a single mom, does homework and gets very little sleep and does it all again the next day, she’s so determined!
I’m using the female pronoun she in all of the examples, because these are all the things that I heard about myself or was said directly to me.
What was praised and recognized was:
I was overworked
I didn’t take time off
I filled my time not working with taking care of my house and my family
While in school I still overworked myself
I got very little sleep
Words that were used to describe me during that time:
Isn’t it a shame that these are the actions that most people see as good, admiring and worthy? There is such a stigma built around the idea of not being busy. Some of us don’t even know what it feels like to not be busy or are too scared to do it for fear of what others might think of you. I can think of two words that most of you might be afraid of; lazy and selfish.
Being selfless and putting everyone before yourself gets praised. Most people don’t realize that not putting yourself first is very detrimental to yourself and to the others around you as well. There is a reason why the flight attendant tells you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others put theirs on. The reason for that is if you are busy helping other people figure out how to put their mask on before yours then pretty soon you're going to run out of oxygen and you won’t be helping anyone.
Have you ever thought of how good you could feel if you did get enough sleep? If you pursued that hobby? If you found out what happens at the end of that book? Have you ever thought what you could do if you just took the time?
So whatever it is that fuels you, just take the time and go do it!
Take the afternoon off
Take a day off, or be crazy and take two
Go on a long weekend getaway
Plan a week's vacation and actually go do it
If you have kept yourself so busy that you have no idea of what fuels you then that’s ok too. First take the time, then explore.
- See what classes your local gym has and take a few to see what you like: I enjoy spin and yoga classes
- Meditate, and if you’ve never meditated before then just
search YouTube for guided meditation and try it for 5 or 10 min to
start. It will feel weird and uncomfortable at first since
your so used to being busy and meditation is the act of
doing nothing, but breathing. Just take my word for it,
it does wonders for your mind and the longer you do it
the more you’ll see the benefits.
- Take a bubble bath
- Binge watch Netflix for an afternoon
- Start writing everyday if that’s something you enjoy. Write
whatever you want; your feelings, life experiences, etc.
Who knows . . . might be a blog or even your first book one day!
- Read or listen to an audio book
- Take time to be with friends. If your so busy that you don’t
have any then definitely join a class at a gym or join a book
club or a local meetup group, just join something!
Just think of how refreshed, recharged and relaxed you can be if you take time for yourself, then you can really show up for the people that you care about.
Set aside time for you and be dedicated to that time. Tell your significant other that you are unavailable during this time or on this day and they will have to pick up the kids and figure out dinner. Be superwoman for you instead of for everyone else.
Before you go, just take a minute, close your eyes, and think about what you would do if you had a few hours to yourself, then a whole day, then a whole weekend. Just think about all the things you would do if you had that time. Then when you’ve thought of it, open your eyes and write down what you would do for each of those times. Then plan when you can ideally take those times to yourself.
The few hours to yourself you should plan in the next couple of days.
The day to yourself plan within the next week.
The weekend to yourself plan within the next month. It doesn’t have to be a Saturday and Sunday, it can be any two consecutive days. (The weekend to yourself you don’t have to plan to be alone for 2 whole days, but if your family is overwhelming and that’s what you need then hey I totally understand. But if you’re so busy that you don’t get time with your significant other, children, or friends then plan something with them if you like. Whatever it is, make sure it’s relaxing and you are not serving them. Remember this time is supposed to be for you to recharge and take care of yourself, not others.
I’d love to hear how you planned your self care time, so email me through the website and share what you did!
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