When was the last time you did something just for yourself? I often ask my clients, friends and family this question. They usually reply with an, ' I don’t have time!' or 'I just have way too much to do!'
Here’s the thing, if you consistently don’t put yourself first; it will negatively impact every area of your life. Before you go into the stories like: 'I have to put my kids as top priority.', or 'If I don’t put work first I won’t be able to survive.', please stop and realize, that if your gas tank is empty or only partially full you can’t maintain this cycle without something eventually breaking down, and it just might be you.
Now, I’m not promoting selfishness, nor suggesting you ignore everyone else and what they require. But, I am encouraging to get real with yourself and realize that there are things we actually need as we are having this human experience. Let’s talk about food for instance. I’ve lost count of how many people tell me they forget to eat, or worse deny themselves food because they are busy doing so much for others that they skip meals. Then they wonder why their digestive systems are jacked up, they are often gaining weight, hint: your body is starving and holding onto anything you give it!
Sleep is another area of neglect. You get stressed don’t eat, further stressing your system and of course that is often going to create irregular sleep habits. Rather than go into details of stress hormone levels etc, let’s just say we all know that missing meals and erratic sleeping is not good for the body. But, I often hear people telling me that if they can just get this project done and have more money they wouldn’t be so stressed. Or once they get over this family hurdle they will take better care of themselves. But that’s not how it works. You will keep creating similar situations until you make yourself a priority. Maybe now is the time to choose YOU?!
A few months ago I found myself very tired, not sleeping as well as I used to, and realizing I needed to take more time for me. I made a commitment to myself that I would do one thing for me in the morning before I answered any emails or texts. The first morning I felt so much better immediately! I was feeling more focused, clear headed and looking forward to sessions and helping others that day. It made such a positive impact on me that I decided to write out 4 non-negotiable things that I would do for myself each day. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by demanding I do all 4, so I make sure I do at least one a day. My 4 things were focused on taking time for my physical health, but also many things I love that are artistic and creative activities. I must have an outlet and free expression or I get really grouchy. This is not fun for me or the people I’m around :-)
So what are your 3 or 4 things that you can start doing for yourself? For some it could be taking a walk, making sure to eat more than one meal a day or even taking a shower. It all depends on how much you’ve allowed your time and energy to be directed towards others. If you’ve been very over giving, be easy with yourself during this adjustment. Please allow yourself to have fun with all of this. It's not something you must do, it is something you get to do for you!!