Do your needs often get pushed off the end of your to-do list? Every woman should have an occasional break for sanity’s sake. This means taking time each day to do something for yourself.
I know, sometimes it’s hard (as we get older and our lives grow more complicated, the list often doesn’t have an end) but if you don’t look after your own needs you will have nothing left to give to all the people, projects, and causes that need you.
When we don’t take time to nurture ourselves and indulge personal interests, it’s easy to lose touch with who we are in the world – says Chicago psychotherapist Cherilynn Veland, MSW, author of ‘Stop Giving It Away: How to Stop Self-Sacrificing and Start Claiming Your Space‘, Power and Happiness-. We can become consumed by the constant press to do life rather than experience life. Taken to the point of self-neglect, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed, resentful and stressed out — and that’s not helpful for either ourselves or those around us.
If like me you took advantage of this summer to rest, reflect and reset, have you thought about how can you make yourself a priority for longer than a holiday? By realizing how important it is to nurture ourselves today and always, we can certainly avoid burnout.
“Me time” doesn’t have to be a whole day. In fact, just a few minutes squeezed into the middle of the day works if that’s all you have. We should be able to find a little time every day to relax and recharge.
In her book, Cherilynn Veland recommends something she calls the “Conscious Calendar“. She advises going through our calendar for the upcoming week every Sunday night and put me-time and other self-care activities, such as exercise and 15-minute rest breaks, on it first, before we fill in our other activities. “Otherwise – she explains-, all the ‘have-tos’ and ‘shoulds’ in your life will just shove those ‘want-tos’ out of the way like a bully would to the smallest kid in the lunch line“.
Setting reminder alarms on our phone for me-time and self-care might work, too. “Honor these appointments with yourself just like you keep other appointments in your calendar – she says-. Don’t try to just wait until you feel like you need me-time. We women have been conditioned to disconnect from our needs, so by the time you’re feeling that way, you may already be running on empty. If you aren’t totally comfortable with me-time at first, fake it until you actually start to enjoy this and crave it”.
Sometimes, sitting on the balcony with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, just watching the clouds going by or meditating, could be enough to relax and refuel.