Originally written by me on August 23, 2016
The Universe is amazing. Have you ever noticed that when you think of something all of a sudden you begin to notice it all around you? You find yourself noticing that particular “thing” where you may not have noticed it before. Say for instance, you begin thinking about buying a new, shiny red car. All of a sudden you notice all the red cars around you. Or you think you may be pregnant, and BOOM! it’s as though there is a pregnancy outbreak or something. EVERYONE around you is pregnant!
In everyday life, it seems as though on any given week, the people I am around bring up very similar issues that. It’s weird, almost cyclic. These past two weeks the theme seems to be ‘self-care’. Or to be more accurate lack of self care. I don’t mean things like not washing your hair, or caring about your clothing. I mean things like taking a break for yourself. Things like getting a massage, giving yourself the gift of a Reiki treatment, getting your nails done, sitting outside reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or by yourself. You-time.
I can already hear you saying “If I had the time that would be great!” Of course there is always the financial aspect of life that seem to prevent “you-time” as well. As we all know, many things we can do for ourselves do not have to cost any money at all. Things like going for a walk, or sitting by yourself in your favorite part of the house.
In my area, we have the large grocery store which offers a free daycare area. You can leave the kids off while you do your shopping. When I was a single mom of two, I didn’t take advantage of this. I regret this severely now. I could have gone to the grocery store with no intent of grocery shopping. I could have brought them into the daycare area (which has tv monitors throughout the store so I can keep an eye on things) and sat down in the deli area for two hours of “anything I want” time. Could have been coffee and a baked good that I could have enjoyed with no one interrupting me. Could have been reading time, which would have cost me nothing. I mistakenly only used that free service to only do my grocery shopping, which was stressful enough to me for the financial aspect of buying groceries with a very limited budget.
I didn’t utilize that available break to my benefit. I know part of it was guilt. Ah! The “g” word. THAT is another blog entirely on it’s own. I felt guilty for wanting time to myself. Crazy as that sounds, I felt that if I took time for myself that I was failing as a mom. Perhaps because of the random thought that I was somehow admitting to the world that I didn’t enjoy being around my children every moment of every day. I felt selfish for needing my own space. Has that ever happened to you?
However, as I now know, and I’m sure you know this as well, ‘you-time’ is very important. It doesn’t have to be two hours each time, but we need to allow ourselves this massively important – yet often ignored – part of life. There should be no guilt. This is not a selfish need, it is a necessity. Think about it, we sleep (not very well many times), we eat, we work, we take care of the family, we taxi kids to here and there for sports or friends or whatever. By the time we are done for the day, we are too damn tired to read a book. So we go back to bed just to do it all again the next day. There is no time to take care of ourselves in a very important way. A ‘regenerating our spirit’ kind of way. A ‘finding our zest for life’ kind of way. A ‘I’m happy’ kind of way. A ‘I need to catch my breath’ kind of way. You get the point.
With each person I have encountered in these past two weeks, I have encouraged them to find a moment, preferably more than just a moment, but find – no – make (create) time for themselves. Get that manicure, find a relaxing service on Groupon and make that appointment. Begin to become familiar with yourself again. This is a necessity. Stress levels decrease when we have a moment to breathe.
Stress is yet another blog I could write about in and of itself. We are all aware of the negative effects stress has on our body and our mind. The part we forget is the ripple effect our stress levels have on the world around us. Our world, our little piece of the space we call life. It affects our health, it affects our parenting, it affects our work environment, it affects our friendships, it affects our driving.
Our self talk is affected too. Our inner speak, the thoughts and words we have in our mind that many of us don’t pay much attention to, impact us in a very large way. Resounding themes in my circle of friends, when we discuss creating “you time” has been guilt, selfishness, and, believe it or not, self worth. SELF WORTH!!!!! We don’t feel worthy of taking time for ourselves!! Can you believe that??!!! When did that happen??? When did we get this ridiculous notion that our needs are not as important as those of our kids, or our spouse, or everyone else but us?
Much of it comes from our past, our upbringing, society and the like. We need to break this notion. I mean smash it to smithereens, into oblivion!!! Just because you were raised in a society to be the caretaker for everyone but yourself doesn’t make it truth. Ever wonder why the people in this world seem to be so stressed, so angry? Much of it is because we are so separated between our minds and our spirit. Disconnected. We have truly forgotten who we as an individual, as a person. We have put aside our authentic selves!!
So I encourage you, yes you, to create time for yourself. Begin small if you must. Once a month, find a moment or two where you simply stop. Stop and do something for yourself. It could be slowing down on a country road, pulling over and enjoying the beauty of the field full of wildflowers. It could be going into a church when no one else is there or walking in nature to reconnect with spirit or God. It could be anything you feel will allow yourself to breathe deeply. To get back in touch with you. You’ll feel better, if only for that moment. With all intents and purposes, this will begin a habit, a routine that slightly increases each time for you.
You matter. Your needs matter. Your dreams matter. Begin reminding yourself of this every single day. Begin today.