Do you feel guilty when you do something just for yourself? Many of us feel like we can’t do something nice and indulgent without feeling the pang of guilt. We feel that taking care of ourselves somehow takes things and time away from our loved ones, work or other responsibilities.
While that’s technically true, there are some big benefits in taking care of yourself first and you really shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
When you fly on an airplane and look through the safety card, or watch the safety video before takeoff, you’re instructed to take care of yourself first in a case of emergency, before helping others, including your children. That point is made for a good reason. If we don’t put ourselves first and take care of our own need, we'll have a hard time helping others, especially in a dire situation like a plane evacuation! Ha! You get the point…
Does this give us a free pass to become completely selfish? Of course not! Sometimes I think we fear that. That we will be perceived as selfish. If they have time to consider your self-care regimen, please, please re-think the relationship. How did they get that power? Take that back and find people that celebrate your conscious growth to put yourself first so you can be better in your life!But it does mean that we can sneak a few minutes here and there to make ourselves a priority. It means we shouldn’t run ourselves so rugged that we become sleep deprived, stressed out people who frankly aren’t all that fun to be around.
We can sneak a few minutes here and there to make ourselves a priority. Taking time for ourselves means we shouldn’t run ourselves so rugged that we become sleep deprived, stressed out people who frankly aren’t all that fun to be around. Trust me, I've done this and it's no fun! 🙂 Being aware is the first step. Where can you pull back? I always have clients literally open up their calendars and put an X through one event or time block on the weekend. Start there. And then set time aside for you.
You know this deep down. I'm not telling you anything new.
When you take the time to put yourself first and do something to replenish yourself, even for a little while, you come back refreshed and in a much better frame of mind to tackle whatever life throws at you. Locking yourself in the bedroom and reading a book for an hour doesn’t make you a bad person. Taking a mini time-out by playing a silly game on your phone doesn’t make you a bad mom. Going out to dinner with your girlfriends doesn’t make you a bad wife.
Instead, it makes you better at what you do. You’re ready to figure out how to budget for the new washing machine you need to buy after you’ve taken a little break. You’re better and more focused at your job after taking the weekend completely off work. You’re a better spouse after you’ve had a chance to vent your frustration over the toothpaste, the toilet lid, and the dirty laundry on the floor. You’re a better and more patient mom who will gladly read the same book for the 50th time or happily drop your teen to meet their friends after you unwound playing candy crush for a few minutes. Right?
Maybe all we need is Permission to take a time out? I know when someone “tells” me I have to do something or not do something I feel better. I don't have to go, I don't have to do this that or the other thing. If you feel any relief thinking of NOT doing something, then your have permission to pass. De-stressing is a vital piece to getting and staying healthy.
Stop feeling guilty about taking the time to care for yourself, relax and unwind. It makes you a much better person and I’m sure your loved ones want you to be calm, relaxed, and happy. Plan something fun. You are so worth it!
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In Good Health,