I like to use the analogy of trying to pour your coffee into a cup when the pot is not full. Visualize yourself as the coffee pot. If you do not get adequate sleep, take time for yourself, and pay attention to your needs, no one else gets your 100 percent best.
I know what you must be thinking, “easier said than done.” Of course, it is! When you look at your day, there is barely enough time to get things done that must be done. The best solution for this is practice, practice, practice. Start out with setting a goal of five minutes a day to do something that brings you joy. This could be taking a hot shower, reading a few pages in a book, coloring, doing a hobby, or listening to music.
Typically, when we allow for five minutes, the momentum keeps us going for longer. If you’re time limited and you were able to achieve five minutes of enjoyment, then you have met your goal! No disappointment and you may be able to find other times in your day that you have another five minutes or more to add in. If you keep practicing this, it becomes more natural and routine. Just like anything else, the hardest part is the transition to something new - so try and stick with it!
If you can follow through with putting yourself first (for a few moments a day), then other areas in your life will feel less stressful. Most of us have been taught to always pay attention to the people and their needs. When growing up, if someone wanted the toy you were playing with, it was suggested to let them have it and you can have time with it afterwards. As an adult, we must be mindful of how we approach topics with others so that they are not offended. Your coworker needs this, your partner needs that, your house needs cleaned, your kids need to be transported to their activities on time, and the list can go on and on! We give so much attention to others (not a bad thing!) but never think about what we need in the moment (the bad thing!) This is a time that you are allowed to be selfish and be aware of how you unwind or relax the best. You deserve time too! Give it to yourself.
Guest blogger: Jackie Spadaro, MRC, LPCC-S