She sat there quietly at her desk. Her eyes zoned into the computer and as she reached her fork to her mouth, her quinoa and salmon salad hit her cheek and went scrambling everywhere. She took a deep breath and then cleaned up her little lunchtime mess. Realizing that she couldn’t do both, eat her messy lunch and continue with her important task at hand that only she could accomplish (and had to be done by 1pm), she hastily shoved her lunch into her mouth; a large forkful at a time. Three minutes later, she had her lunch down and she was right back to work.
She reminded herself that she could only stay 45 minutes late at work since she had an evening of picking up the kids, cooking dinner, getting the little ones in bed, spending time with her husband and then sneaking in another hour of work before hitting the pillow. It always seemed that once her day ended, it just started right back again. The phrase, “not enough hours in the day” was the funniest thing to her because she knew it was incredibly true.
She thought for a moment about how nice it would be to just pick up that book she had waiting on her night stand that she started…what was it? Six weeks ago now? It was actually a captivating book but she just didn’t have the time. And she wasn’t sure when she ever would.
As women, we have strong hearts that allow us to give strong love to our loved ones but most often we forget to give a little love to ourselves. With the society we live in today, this can seem normal. There are so many single women working hard to move up in the company they work for and many married women or women in committed relationships doing everything they need to keep their families, friends, husbands/boyfriends and boss happy. But as women we were made for more than this, weren’t we? Yet what we continuously do is put everyone else above ourselves. We allow ourselves to believe that our priorities can be placed aside because the people in our lives are our first priority.
The kids absolutely need to be taken to school and your husband or boyfriend does need that quality time with you every day on their schedule but when do you ever get to really express your needs for yourself and make yourself a priority? Having self-love is incredibly important. It means being comfortable with spending time alone with yourself; enjoying what you love to do when you can make the time to do it. And making the time to do it means making yourself a priority.
How many women can you think of that actually make the time or feel they can’t find the time what with work, the kids, social events, the needs of husbands/boyfriends and trying to fit food and sleep into that schedule as well. Sometimes making time for yourself can leave you feeling guilty because you know that time could be used elsewhere. You could have been more productive because that to-do list with one thousands things ready to be checked off is anxiously waiting for you and lingering in the back of your mind.
We can easily become so involved with providing to our loved ones that we forget that we need to show ourselves some love as well. Yet, when we can’t give ourselves the few minutes we need each day to rejuvenate and reflect we actually end up cheating our loved ones. When we run non-stop from the time we roll out of bed to when we tiredly crawl back in late at night, once we’ve tried to finish everything we need to, we then will absolutely be exhausted the next day meaning that we can’t give our loved ones 100% of ourselves. To be the best we can be for our family and friends, we have to be the best we can be for ourselves first.
There are six small acts of kindness you can do for yourself each day to show yourself some love:
- Decide the best way to spend what little “me” time you may have.
Whether you reach for that book or simply take a hot, well-deserved 15 minute shower, decide how you want to use your “me” time every day. This will help you look forward to it and ensure you take that time instead of just letting it run away from you as the day often can.
- Figure out what you can eliminate from your day that may actually be a waste of time.
We sometimes get busy doing busy work. Think about how best you can eliminate this work from your daily life. Perhaps you can commit half hour one day to reorganizing the front shoe cabinet instead of spending five minutes each day tidying it up.
- It’s okay to say no.
We love to help. In fact, it can often seem like our middle name. Sometimes however, saying yes to everyone can become time consuming and use a lot of energy. It’s okay to say no when someone asks too much of you or when you know you really don’t have the time. Try using a phrase like, “I would honestly love to help but this weekend is a very busy one for me. I hope all goes well with it though.”
- Ask for help.
Now as much as we love to help we can find it hard to accept help. All great managers know how to delegate. Well you are the manager of your life. So it’s okay to delegate and ask someone to help take care of a task for you. In most cases, they would be more than happy you asked.
- Commit to the time you set aside for yourself.
Setting a time for yourself is the first step to making “me” time but committing to this time is the second step. Do your very best to stick to the time slot you’ve granted to yourself. Remember, being the best you for others, means being the best you to yourself first.
- Create a routine you can incorporate in the early morning or late evening.
Try to create a routine such as waking up and doing a five minute stretching/yoga session or even adding some soothing essential oils drops to your shower (Lavender would be great to calm yourself before your busy day and Bergamot is wonderful to putting a spring in your step). You can also incorporate your routine at bedtime like having a hot cup of tea and curling up for a 15 minute reading session before turning off the lights. Let your husband/boyfriend or family know that this is your 15 minute “me” time and that you’d appreciate it be respected.
I’d love to know how this exercise worked out for you! Leave a comment below 🙂