“Sure…um, yeah…ok…I guess…yes.” Sigh.
Has this ever been you? Agreeing to something being asked of you when you know right then, upfront, that it is not the right time, you are busy, or you have another previous engagement.
There are even times when the person who is asking of you knows you have a lot on your plate, but they press on and ask anyway because it’s “just one little thing”. Maybe you just automatically put yourself on the back burner.
Then…the guilt. That feeling that you are letting someone down.
While it is an admirable trait to be dependable and trustworthy, in order to maintain those traits, you must take great care of yourself. Taking care of yourself sometimes means saying no to others.
I am not talking about living a selfish life. Selfishness is not what I am proposing. I am simply saying do not destroy yourself for the sake of others because you are afraid to say no.
A lot of this requires a change of mindset. Women (especially mothers) for some reason have been conditioned to believe that they must always be on the go. The moment they take a well-deserved break or some time for themselves they are guilt-ridden and sometimes even deemed as lazy…can you imagine that???
When your schedule is jam packed with activities for work and family don’t forget about you. Just as there are non-negotiables you attend to for your job and family, there must be some non-negotiables when it comes to your life. No questions asked.
You must make time for your health. No questions asked.
You must make time for restorative rest. No questions asked.
You must make time for consistent healthy eating. No questions asked.
You must make time to maintain your physical beauty. No questions asked.
You must make time to maintain your spiritual fitness. No question asked.
Just as it goes without saying that you make time to floss and brush your teeth everyday (with brushing twice a day🦷lol), you must also make time for yourself in other areas.
Accomplishing this is no easy feat if you are not used to saying no and putting yourself first. Start small. Think about an area of your personal life you’ve been neglecting. Now think about how much time it would it take to tend to yourself. It’s not much really, when you consider the 24-hour cycle we all have. You’ll have to eliminate, substitute or rearrange something else, in order to make time for what you need to do for yourself.
So, what does this mean and what does this look like…I’m glad you asked.
In some cases, it may mean that you will have to limit your television viewing, in some cases you may have to decline (say no) to a few invitations out with friends and/or family, and then there are those who may need to cut out excess chatting on the phone each day in order to get things done and have optimal time for themselves!
When you are asked to do something, and you know upfront you simply don’t have the time or resources please speak up! Sometimes you will have to say no.
I just want to remind you that we as women (most of us) start feeling guilty at this point. Our brains start rolling a mile a minute. “what about the dishes?”, “what about all the clothes I have to fold?”
What about…what about…what about…
Ok what about you? What about you. WHAT ABOUT Y-O-U?
Without proper rest, maintenance and rejuvenation, trust me you will burn out. No doubt. And the train will keep on barreling through. Ever notice how our counterparts often react to stress or take care of themselves in general? I’ve never heard a man say they can’t go fishing because of housework or the kids. I’ve never seen or heard of a man passing up his weekly haircut to have more money for potholders or kitchen towels. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. When they need a break, they generally take one. Point. Blank. Period. Are there exceptions? Yes, sure of course. There are no absolutes. However, on average this is what happens.
I’m not telling you to neglect your family, husband, children, job or partner. Please let’s be clear on that. I just want you to prioritize yourself. I’m simply telling you that in your life YOU have to be important to YOU and make time for yourself. Your circle will get used to the change but you’re the only one who can make the change in your life.
So, make time to meditate, get your hair cut or styled, nails done, take a fitness class, take a nap- whatever it is.
Remember to start small and once you start don’t stop. Ignore and dismiss the guilt and allow others to adjust -because they will. You are worth the self-care.
Let me know how you plan on putting yourself first. Those of you who already follow this practice, feel free to leave tips for others.
Until next time. Love yourself unapologetically.