Last week I introduced you to a seven part blog I will be doing on the seven steps that Cheryl Richardson, author of “Take Time for Your Life”, recommends you should take in order to take time for your life. This week I am focussing on Step 1.
“If you think selfish is a dirty word, learn to practice extreme self-care; put yourself at the top of the list and everyone else will benefit”
If you are anything like me, the concept of self-care sometimes sits low on my list of priorities. Cheryl Richardson goes as far as saying that it should be extreme self-care. However we choose to define it, it is probably one of the most important things we should be doing for ourselves.
As parents, I think it is fair to say we are not that great at doing this; there is always something else which seems more important. At the end of the day though, we have a choice as to how we want to live our lives and that should be to honor some degree of self-care. After all, how can we look after our family and be “good” parents if we don’t take care of ourselves?
I am perhaps generalizing here but in my experience, I think it is fair to say that mothers, in particular, have a very hard time putting their needs before others and can often end up feeling frustrated, guilty and resentful about the commitments they have and the fact that they end up having so little time for themselves and their relationships. Think about it, we charge our phones, charge our cars, charge our family; we charge everything but ourselves! The net result – we can spend much of our time running around on flat batteries.
We need to figure out what it is we need to do in order to charge our batteries and keep them charged. It can be the simplest and briefest of things but in order to look after ourselves, we have to do something. It could be:
- 5 or 30 peaceful minutes on your own in the house each morning before the rest of the house wakes up?
- A yoga class?
- Taking the time to listen to your breath and your intuition?
- An art class?
- A power walk or a run?
- A cup of coffee in bed first thing in the morning?
- Reading a simple mission statement that you have written to yourself to remind you each day of how you want to be?
- A weekly or bi-weekly date?
- Working for a charity for an hour a week?
- Going to bed earlier and reading your book?
- Sitting in your garden for 5 minutes just observing?
- A regular girls coffee morning?
- Just slowing down and appreciating your life
What can you do right now?
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – Aristotle
We are all different and different things will charge us. This week, I invite you to think about what really makes you tick and feel charged and try to make time to include it in your day, everyday. These are the things that make us feel whole and energized, the things that inspire and motivate us, that fill up our tanks and make us a better person. If you want it, you have to choose it and then honor your choice.
If you think you might find it hard to do this for yourself, try to do it for your children. We need to be selfish and look after ourselves first so that we can parent with our batteries charged and be the best version of ourselves for ourselves and for our children. It’s just like the oxygen masks on the plane – you help yourself before you can help others.
What are you going to do to fill up your tank and charge your batteries? I’d love to hear from you.
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Registration is now open for my fall Adlerian Parenting Classes, please look under EVENTS and Schedule on our web site for more details. Please feel free to mention this to any friends you know who may be interested.