As women we’ve become very good at taking care of others. We know how to counsel our friends, comfort our children and have just the right treat to cheer up our significant others. But are we using these same tactics with ourselves? When was the last time you had a “me” day or even just some “me” time?
Many women feel selfish at the thought of alone time but neglecting to fuel your tank can leave you feeling mentally and emotionally starved. By making me time a priority, you can stop yourself from the burnouts and breakdowns that inevitably follow. My favorite reminder comes from the flight attendants that diligently repeat this phrase before every take-off: “in the event of an emergency, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others.” If you can’t breathe, it’s hard to help someone else do the same. So come on, it’s time to put that oxygen mask on.
Below are some ways to take care of you:
Relax. Remember that thing called relaxation? Oh yes, that thing you’re supposed to do after you get everything on your never-ending to-do list done. New to-do: find an activity that promotes relaxation. Take a bath, snuggle up in bed and read a book, or turn on some music and really listen to each note. By making relaxation a priority, you are more likely to experience this phenomenon on a frequent basis.
Reflect. Do you do anything to consciously reflect and focus on the present? Try journaling or meditating. These activities promote relaxation as well as self-awareness and may even uncover some concerns you’ve been hiding from by rushing from one activity to the next. You may notice that you continue to write or think the same phases; use this as an opportunity to understand what’s on your mind.
Make a date with yourself. Love to shop the bargains at good will? Go! Like to paint? Pick up a brush! Perhaps you prefer a stroll through the farmer’s market? Whatever sparks your interest, carve out a few hours and take part in your favorite past-time. You won’t regret the alone time. If you can’t think of a specific activity or are tight on cash, dancing singing are great “mini me” activities and as an added bonus, no one will know if you’re out of step or out of tune.
Say no. Now I’m not saying you should stop being helpful and become a two letter hammer. However, you should stop saying yes to things that don’t serve you. You simply can’t do it all and trying to chase everything is only going to leave you in a tangled mess. By saying no more often you are allowing for a more meaningful relationship with yourself and making more time for someone very special – you!
Learning to take care of you is not merely luxury but a necessity. Take time to relax, reflect and partake in activities that put a smile on your face. Not only will you get some much needed me time but your friends and family will enjoy the added benefits of a more zen version of you too.
AJ White is a freelancer writer interested in content that fuels the mind, body and soul. Educated at CU Boulder and this crazy thing called the real world, AJ can currently be found in Denver with her husband and dog-child by her side. Connect with AJ at http://about.me/ajwhite.