This blog was originally published on Olive Leaf Wellness.
Confessions From a Health Coach
I have a confession to make. I have a hard time making time for myself. I know better. I know that I cannot serve others when my own cup runs empty. I love being a mom. I want to be with my kids when I’m not working.
Making time for going to the gym, hanging out with my girl friends and going out on a date with my love is hard for me.
I love all of these things, but along with them comes guilt. Why oh why must we feel guilty for taking care of ourselves?!
It isn’t just mom’s though. Many couples do something similar when they first start dating. Maybe we want to show our new boss what a dedicated and hard worker we are. Or we get a new pet. The list just goes on. It is way too easy to put our own needs at the bottom of the priority list, and for way too long.
The problem with this is that after our cup being low or empty for so long, we start to become tired, irritable and often times resentful. Then we feel guilty about being tired, irritable and resentful! Time to stop the cycle of guilt! You need you. Your kids need it. Your relationships need it. Your job needs you to do it.
So how do you make time for yourself?
- Delegate. Write a list of everything you do. Look at this list and ask yourself: What is eating up all of your time? Is it house work? Laundry? Picking up around the house? Cooking really complex, intense meals? Making everything from scratch? A ton of activities? Now, what can you delegate? What can your kids do to help you? Can you ask a friend to come over and help? Can you afford to hire someone to help? Can you barter services if you can’t afford it? Time to get creative, get humble and realize you aren’t an island and can do everything all by yourself. Ask for help. I think you’ll be surprised… and relieved.
- Live more simply. Looking at this same list, what can be eliminated? Can you reduce the number of activities you or your kids are involved in? Can you get rid of some of the stuff making your house cluttered and/or messy? What can you live without? This is not an easy process by any means, but I promise it’s worth it.
Now that you’ve made some tough decisions, it’s time to think about self care. Let’s fill your cup so you have something to give. What does this look like? While self care can be different for everyone, there are three parts I have found to be essential.
- Time to just be you. We all have a lot of hats these days. Husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, mom/dad, employer/employee, housekeeper, pet trainer, chef, etc. What about just being you? It’s all too easy to lose our identity living the everyday life. Take time to remember who you are and what you enjoy without any outside influences. It truly is refreshing.
- Do something you enjoy regularly. This will look different for every person. There is no one size fits all approach. For me, I love working out and meeting up for a cup of coffee with friends. I need to work out a couple times a week. Hanging out with girlfriends is more of a once every couple weeks deal. I wish it could be more, but realistically, once or twice a month is how it works out.
- Take time to remember why you fell in love. It is way too easy and common for partners to get so into the routine of everyday life and take each other for granted. Making your relationship a priority is essential if you want to stay with this person for the rest of your life. It’s important for your friendship (helping to avoid nasty, unnecessary fights), important for your kids to see and important for getting through the tough times that every couple goes through.
You need you to take care of you. Your family needs you to take care of you. Your health and well being are essential for healthy, happy relationships with everyone in your life. So today, sit down and think about 3 things you can do for you the remainder of the month to fill your cup.