It's okay, and I give you permission to TAKE CARE OF YOU. What follows are some simple tips to help you become better at recognizing your own needs and when you could benefit from giving yourself a generous dose of love, compassion and self-care. Listen to your body sensations, feelings, emotions and the intuitive nudge, or that “gut” feeling that may whisper and even scream “you need more care right now.”
- FIND JOY IN THE ORDINARY. Not everything needs your time and attention at every moment. But sometimes, the small, simple, precious things matter and make our lives rich and extraordinary. Cultivate a gratitude practice for the things that you may take advantage of, but that may actually give your life extraordinary meaning.
- FORGIVE YOURSELF WHEN YOU DON’T GET SOMETHING DONE. A balanced life requires flexibility and the ability to make changes as needed. Are you setting yourself up for depletion, exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed by unreasonable demands and scheduling? What can you let go of without punishing yourself?
- YOUR LIFE AND SCHEDULE SHOULD FIT YOUR NEEDS. It shouldn’t always be the other way around. Learn to set limits, prioritize, and delegate work and responsibilities as needed. This will help your to feel happier and sane.
- ASK FOR HELP. It can be hard. This doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means that you’re smart and that you value yourself. Remember, your children are likely watching you.
- NOURISH YOU BODY with nutritious food, adequate sunshine, physical movement and moderate activity. If you're in a funk, housework counts as movement.
- CREATE A HEALTHY WORK AND LIFE BALANCE. People struggle with this especially when you add children and care-taking responsibilities to the mix. It's important to find ways to relax and restore, creating time for hobbies, passions and interests. You don't have to devote hours -- sometimes a brief period of time spent doing photography, listening to music, or simply resting and breathing, can yield huge health benefits.
- DEVELOP A NETWORK OF SUPPORT. Surround yourself with a network of like-minded, motivated individuals that you can lean on, and you can offer the same support in return. Having others in your life that share similar hobbies, activities or pursuits helps you stay on track with your own goals and maintain peak interest.
- NO, YOU’RE NOT BEING SELFISH FOR THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF. Many people experience guilt and shame when they prioritize their own needs. They then feel resentful when others do this with ease. Learn to challenge guilty feelings with real and accurate statements about yourself.
- LEARN TO SAY NO. Setting boundaries protects you from others, and it creates a clear and firm limit for those who tend to cross lines. Learn to be clear about whats acceptable and what is not okay. This is a tough one if you have a people-pleasing identity, so make small changes. You may find that even though you rewrite the script, people will still value you if you step out of that role. And if they can't adore you with the changes, then it's really their loss. Nice girls say no.