Let’s face it, “me time” is a commodity we hardly get to enjoy. The rare free time we have is usually spent taking care of the pile of laundry we keep ignoring, running to the store because your kid will throw a fit if the milk runs out again, or just catching our breath. There’s always somebody that needs us or something that needs to get done.
In the midst of all this chaos, we tend to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. It took me a long time to find this out, about thirteen months to be exact. My first priority was my baby girl, then my marriage and, finally, any free time was used up by every other responsibility on my plate. Exhaustion was my friend. I wasn’t 100% present when I spent time with my family. The reality is that I was simply drained out.
Something had to change. So, I started dedicating five minutes a day to myself to do what I wanted to do. I gave myself the time I needed to unwind and recharge. The moment I started making myself a priority, everything else became a little bit easier. There is less time wasted tackling that to-do list because my mind is more focused on the task at hand. A refreshed mind results in having the energy to be more present in the time spent with your family.
Here’s a few tips to kickstart your journey:
Make self-care your top priority.
We’ve heard it all before; to be able to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. There’s a reason for that. When our minds and bodies are at their best, we flourish. Living a life for you will let you be able to support a better life for the ones around you.
Make the time or it might not happen.
Five minutes a day. That’s all it takes. If you have to schedule it into your day, then do it! Make no excuses. Don’t wait around for the down time that will never come around. Keep in mind, you can definitely take more time if needed. Whatever will help you restore yourself. Go ahead, grab your planner and schedule at least five minutes of your day just for you. I’ll wait…
Find out what moves you.
Reading? Crafting? Exercising? Playing guitar? You want to find the the activity that clears your mind and lets you face the world with a little bit more energy. If meditation isn’t your thing, then try a brisk walk around the block. Figure out what stimulates you and helps you connect with yourself. If just laying on the couch staring at the ceiling is your jam, then you do you.
It’s OK to be selfish.
There comes a time when we have to put ourselves first. It’s simple. Taking care of yourself will set the foundation to better take care of your family. We carry the world on our shoulders. If the foundation is broken, then the whole system will collapse. Spending time away from your family and responsibilities to take care of yourself is not a bad thing. In this case, being selfish is necessary to be able to give your family the best mom and partner you can be.
Ask for help.
Have a stack of laundry to fold or a sink full of dishes? Don’t be too proud to ask for some help. We end up taking over all the everyday tasks because we want to make sure our family is taken care of. The reality is that teamwork saves time, so lets get everyone involved to save time. In turn, you’ll get more time with your family and for yourself. Don’t rely on your exhausted appearance to trigger the help. Be verbal. You know the magic words: “Please,” and “Thank you!”
If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. It all starts with five minutes a day.
Let’s try an experiment. The next time you grab your phone to check social media, ask yourself if your time is better spent doing something else. If browsing through Instagram helps you connect with yourself, then go for it! If not, then you better put your phone down and go enjoy a hot cup of tea.
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life. ” – Jill Bolte Taylor
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. “ – Lucille Ball
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale
How long after baby did it take you to make yourself a priority?
What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself?
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