Fill in the blank: I feel so much better after doing______________. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.
How many times have you uttered those words after a day of golf, fishing, yoga, or curled up a with a good book?
Then, you wait another six months before doing it again. Why?
I know you’re going to say that you have too much to do, but I’ve got a different theory: most of us aren’t used to feeling good. We are, however, used to feeling run down, overworked and unhappy.
Our culture has made ‘idleness’ a nasty word. We have created a life overflowing with work, kids, chores, and taking care of others, be it employees, children, spouses or aging parents.
We are raised to value industriousness and activity while debasing leisure and lazing.
The habitual practice of completing yet another task may feel compelling, but it leaves little time to decompress, and relax.
We have created a custom of neglecting ourselves and the need to do nothing.
Furthermore, this culture of productivity and profit is making us collectively sick. Continually pushing ourselves without respite breaks the body down, and can eventually manifest as insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, mental health disorders and autoimmune diseases, just to name a few. In fact, stress.org reports that three out of four doctor visits are for stress-related illness*.
When we are sick or stressed, we cannot operate at our full capacity so our work, family and relationships suffer.
Taking a day or even an hour to yourself regularly, can pay dividends not only for you but for those depending on you.
Being selfish enough to put yourself first, will allow you more energy and time to be selfless!
Here is how you can start:
- Begin with 45-60 minutes, once a week to do something you enjoy. It can be gardening, running, even napping, or Netflix! Make this a consistent time each week, so it builds a healthy habit.
- Refuse to take on any guilt for that hour to yourself. If you start to feel guilty, practice an affirmation, such as Self-care Saves Me, or, I Take Care of Me, so I Can Take Care of Those I Love.
- Once you get comfortable with an hour a week, try adding 15-20 minutes every day devoted to self-care. This can be to read, meditate, or even to enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Take note of how you feel, and the renewed energy you have to devote to other things. You will notice a change, I promise.
Taking care of your health and well-being should be first on you list of priorities. You must put on your own oxygen mask first, so take responsibility to do something selfish regularly…its the most selfless thing you can do!
For more ideas on how to prioritize yourself first, contact Kristal at KristalFiorentino.com.
As a Yoga Therapist and Life Coach, Kristal can help make YOU a priority.