When was the last time you did something for yourself, just because you enjoyed it? Many women are over-stressed and at the brink of burn out but don’t even know it, because they’re so used to taking care of other people—often tuning out their own needs in the process. The result? They’re cranky, frustrated, overwhelmed, and often angry at themselves and other people.
These feelings are your body’s way of telling you that you need ‘me time’—just like the way your cell phone sends a warning tone when it’s running low on battery. Here are some ways to turn that frustration and negative energy and use it to protect yourself.
Life tip # 1: Return to the basics
You’re an expert at making to-do lists and managing meetings and schedules. Now, use these skills to go back to your core. Write down the things you used to enjoy before you became a wife, parent, or worker. If you’re feeling stuck, you can get others to help you brainstorm: what are the things you are good at? Where do you seem to be most happy and relaxed? The goal is to touch base with dreams or longings that you’ve ignored because ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘it’s too silly’–so you can give as much priority to the things you want to do for yourself. (And don’t feel guilty about this; me time makes you a better mom!)
Life tip # 2: Be nice to your Inner Boss
You’re excellent at knowing, and following, those unwritten social rules: the right thing to say to your child’s teacher, or the delicate politics of the office. All these help other people feel and look good. That’s great—just pay equal attention to yourself and invest in ‘self care.’ Even simple things like taking 5 minutes a day on your facial routine or fixing up your work space to reflect your personality can make a big physical and emotional difference. It’s all about asking yourself, ‘What can I do for me, today?’ and taking the answer seriously.
Life tip # 3: Work for yourself
You wouldn’t think twice about carrying a sick baby the whole night or running around the office to finish a deadline. Now use that adrenalin surge for yourself—and exercise! Exercise will make you feel better, healthier, and stronger, and also purges your body of unwanted pounds and stress. Tell yourself, ‘I’m not just working out, I’m working for me.’
Life tip # 4: Be your own hero
All people have ‘stories’ in their heads: connections or interpretations of events. For example, your boss gets mad at you, you miss a credit card payment, and you come home to a messy house, and you say, ‘I’m a failure.’ Or, you have a long week of no sleep and crazy deadlines, and you say, ‘I can’t keep up with my life.’ But you can change your story anytime! Make up a positive story where you’re the hero and you rise up above all the circumstances. ‘Pretend’ that you’re strong, calm and in control, and act as if it true. And you will be!
Photo from sheknows.com