Between household chores, careers, and caring for a spouse and children, where is the time to really take care of yourself? I have heard countless stories of women who have let themselves go and have lost themselves because they are so unselfish. It is very common to become so involved in giving to others that we fail to give to ourselves. Selfish care is so important to our emotional, physical and mental well-being, and we can't ignore it. It is time for the busy woman to realize that she can care for others and take good care of herself as well.
Three common pitfalls
"I don't have time for myself." This is the oldest excuse in the book. Don't fall into the trap of believing that there is no way to give yourself undivided time. You do have time; trust me.
"I feel guilty just taking time for myself." This is a common feeling. Just the fact that you have this thought is a sure sign that you are a giving and caring person. Your loved ones have benefited from your dedication. It is time for you to benefit from attention given to yourself. You can actually give more to others if you are at your best.
"I don't deserve self indulgence." Think of the minutes, hours, days, years, weeks, and years that you dedicate to doing things for other people. As long as the amount of giving to others is more than the amount of time spent on yourself, you have every right to treat yourself.
Solutions for the excuses
Make time for yourself. You need to give yourself time alone to focus yourself. This doesn't have to be 2 hours a day. All you need is about 15-30 minutes of undisturbed time. You may only do this one every other day or so. It doesn't have to be the same time everyday. It may also be possible to have an extended 'me time' once a week (possibly for an hour or more). Make it often enough that have this special time before you burn out or become super-stressed.
Sometimes you will need to say no to people. It's okay to do that. There is only so much time in a single day. It is important that you use it wisely. Prioritize, and learn to say no to the things that you just can't do. Reduce the extra favors on your to do list. You are not a favor machine, you can say no.
Forget the guilt. Like I mentioned earlier, you can actually give more to others if you are at your best. Consider 'me time' as the charging of your batteries. You will have more to give if you are whole in yourself. If you feel better, others around you will also feel better. If you don't take care of yourself, you will eventually suffer, and so will the other people that you want to take good care of.
You do deserve it. Taking time for yourself does not mean that you think you are the most important person in the world. It does mean, however, that you are important. You don't have to put yourself at the top of your list, just don't put yourself on the bottom. If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being.
What to do for yourself
Physical rejuvenation. There are several ways to rejuvenate the body. Exercise that involves stretching and focused breathing can truly refresh you. Moderate exercise has proven to improve mood and overall health. After a long hard day, there is also nothing like a nice hot bubble bath. There is also nothing wrong with taking your personal time to nap.
Beauty treatment. Make an appointment with the beauty salon. You can get your hair and nails done. You can also book a spa massage. If money is tight, you can always try your own new look, paint your own nails, or just spend a little extra time making yourself look better than you normally do. Looking your best will help you to feel your best.
Listen to music. Put on your favorite music and just tune out everything else. Forget what you have just done and what you will do later. Enjoy the moment and relax.
Have a quiet time. Peace and quiet is sometimes all we need. Just clear your head or think about the things that you have been meaning to think about. You can journal your thoughts or prayers, or you can read. There is nothing like a good book. Reading a novel, short story, poetry or the Bible can be interesting, soothing, and enlightening.
Pray. Taking time to connect with God is a very needed experience. He cares about everything we care about. It is a great time to connect with your spirit and take a bird's-eye view of your life.