Time for you. How to start putting yourself first for a change.
So it’s September already, you had big plans for the year.
But here you are once again, feeling like the year is more than half over and you have made little or no progress.
You are so fucking frustrated, you know what needs to get done, and you are aching for change.
Problem is, you haven’t been sitting around doing nothing all year.
You’ve been busy running around after everybody else.
Covering everybody else’s needs, dreams, dramas, expectations… being a superstar mother, wife, friend, lover, person, citizen… making sure that everybody else’s lives run smoooooooothly.
Sadly, by the time you’ve done all that, there’s absolutely no time left over for you.
Right now, no one could blame you for thinking
What about me?
When the hell does it get to be my turn?
Here’s the thing,
You are not alone.
I know what that voice sounds like.
Lord knows, I was once the queen of this stuff.
And I still have to practice to stay on track.
You are a beautiful, kind caring person who wants to do the right thing by everybody. There is nothing wrong with that.
But you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that running yourself ragged for everyone else is not cool, or sustainable, or serving you or the people that you love.
You Need to Take time for You.
And yet, it’s a really hard habit to break.
It does takes time, and isn’t easy, but I personally believe that taking a deep breath, and feeling the fear and discomfort of tackling it, is FAR more preferable, (and less painful) than ending up burnt out, resentful, bitter, angry, exhausted and with nothing left to give. Which is the inevitable long-term affect of this behavior.
Which is why, I present to you today,
5 Simple changes you can make as a starting point
Start noticing when you are putting yourself last.
Notice the number of times that you say yes to someone else in a way that means you are saying no to yourself and your needs.
Notice how much you look after ‘you’ as compared to everyone else.
Notice what it feels like in your gut when you say ‘yes’ but your heart is screaming no.
Notice how often you put other people’s happiness before your own.
It’s a simple fact that once you shine a light on something and really see it, you can’t un-see it. Once you know something for sure, you can only accept it, or find a better way. (guess which one I vote for?)
Have a think about what your most basic needs are.
You might find that the basics aren’t really that complicated.
Write them out, and start by looking for ways and spaces where you can fit them in so that they can become a priority.
You might want to try putting your schedule up on the fridge so that everyone knows what you need to get done before there is time for everybody else’s requests. Sometimes people get so used to you being the person who does everything for everyone, that they forget that you have stuff of your own to get done too.
Practice saying no - Without explanation or apology!
This one does take courage and practice, but I promise you that each time you take a deep breath and give it a go, it will get a tiny bit easier.
Think of it as building up a muscle. A six pack wasn’t built overnight (lord knows, I’m still looking down at a 2 pack, and that’s with blurry vision).
Practice in front of the mirror…
Just keep repeating versions of the following phrases until they start to feel more comfortable:
- Actually no I can’t
- Yeah no
- No thanks
- Thanks so much for thinking of me, but no can do
Don’t Feel Guilty
Making time for, acknowledging and honouring your own needs does not, I repeat DOES NOT make you selfish.
It does NOT make you a bad wife, mother, friend or person.
It does NOT make you a self-centred bitch!
And anyone who tries to tell you that you are any of those things, is bringing their own baggage to the party.
What it does make you is
- An excellent role model (especially for your kids)
And wait for it….
Do I need to say it again sister?
Remember you can still give
Finding space for and honouring your own needs and boundaries is not about being all or nothing.
Its about finding a way that it works for everyone instead of just for some.
There isn’t just one way to love or contribute. You might not be able to do the exact thing that others expected, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something, still add value, or show them that you care. Without sacrificing your own needs in the process.
The bottom line is this…
When you respect your own boundaries and consider your own needs too, you do everyone a favour.
You are human.
You only have so much time in the day, so many resources at your disposal, so much energy. And if all you do is give and look after everyone else’s needs but your own… you will end up exhausted, burnt out, with nothing left to offer.
Leave it bubbling away for long enough, and resentment, anger, bitterness, and regret will most certainly come to the party. These are not fun guests, for you or for the beautiful people that you love.
When you are honouring your own truth and boundaries, and taking care of you too, you are a much healthier, happier person to be around… score!!!
Doing so, doesn’t mean that you are giving up being part of a team, family, community, relationship or friendship, it means that you also look after your most precious resource.
Your own well-being.
Without that, you are no good to yourself or to anyone else.
So lovely chickies, are you ready to start flexing those beautiful ‘no’ muscles?
What is one thing that you are going to do, to meet YOUR needs this week?
I’m all ears…