I read a post the other day that claimed those who suggested that we take time for ourselves were insulting our ability to know what is right for us. The writer felt it was arrogant to suggest that a mother of 2 young children, who works full-time and carries most of the household responsibilities take some time for herself.
Since I make a living helping stressed out women (yes, even moms with young children) to find ways to lower their stress levels and take some time to relax, refresh and renew their energy, I sat and pondered her words. Was I being arrogant? Did I think I knew better than they did when it came to their schedule? Do I come across as insulting the intelligence of my clients and readers?
If I do, then I apologize with every fiber of my being. That is in no way my intention, but I also know how easily what is intended can be interpreted another way.
I also know that I have been a working mother of two young children with total household responsibilities and how not taking time for myself made me irritable and less than pleasant to be around. And usually those closest to me (my family) bore the brunt of my exhausted attitude. I also know now that a clean house only gets dirty again but that my children will never be 4 again asking me to color with them. And unfortunately, I also know how painful an ulcer can be and how frightening it feels to be losing your grip on reality.
So, I offer these suggestions as one who has been there, done that and has the t-shirt. The bottom line of what I have learned over the years regarding self-care is that no one can make you do it, no one can tell you to do it in a way that will lead you to making a total lifestyle change, and no one but you knows what keeps you from taking time for yourself.
And I have also learned that without taking time for yourself that life will be much harder than it needs to be, you will be using more energy than is necessary, and you can never get that time back or the attitudes that showed themselves during it.
I sincerely hope you will make time for yourself and see if there is a difference in how you feel and face life. But it takes a commitment and a willingness to deal with push back and resistance from others and yourself. It requires a re-learning of much of what the culture tells us is right. It means strengthening our ability to say No to some things in order to say Yes to others. It means changing before it is too late and changing in ways that benefit everyone in the long run.
Be like a Nike commercial for a few weeks and just do it!