Are you giving yourself permission to do something for you today? Maybe you went to the mall or had a glass of wine with the girls. Maybe you decided to download the latest book by your favorite author. If you did something for you just because it made you happy, you are awesome! Many of us feel guilty if we do things for ourselves, even if we spend most of our time taking care of others.
While this may be immediately justifiable in some circumstances, the problem over time is that if we constantly deny ourselves things for the sake of helping others or because we question our right to do things for ourselves, eventually we can become quite burnt out and resentful about our circumstances and towards the ones we are trying to help.
Allowing ourselves time for self-care means we allow ourselves time to have that cappuccino with a friend rather than staying home to do the dishes. It means giving ourselves permission to go to the gym rather than feeling like that email can’t wait an hour to go out. Most of the time, with a little planning we can include self-care in our daily activities and that simple step is guaranteed to increase our productivity and well-being both at home and at work.
Next time you decide to think twice about something you want to do ask yourself why you are considering saying no to doing it. And ask yourself how often you do it. Of course, there are times when saying no to self-care is a necessity (like in a TRUE emergency), but if it’s something you routinely say, try saying yes to a few things and see how it improves your life.
As you look after your own needs first, it becomes easier to look after the responsibilities that consume most of your day. Saying yes to going to the gym regularly increases your energy and concentration levels. Now instead of that email taking an hour to get out, it takes less than 30 minutes. Not to mention, your mind and body will thank you for it too.
Socializing with friends has been shown to increase emotional well being considerably. Taking time to socialize will improve the quality of time you spend with family and friends and in your attitudes to everyday activities in your life. Over time, you will find it gets easier to look after your own needs, and you will realize it’s not selfish to do this, and the feelings of guilt will diminish.
Next month we’ll dive more into self-care. For now, just think about what you do for yourself just because it makes you happy. If you can’t think of anything, I challenge you to think of one thing that you can do this week and DO IT!