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Taking Better Care of Yourself: Making Time for Self Care

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New Year’s resolutions tend to fizzle out sometime in the first six weeks of the year and attempts to make healthy lifestyle changes often die on the vine. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for many busy women who want to make changes is finding the time to actually make them.

Here’s a question I was asked in an interview recently: “How do we justify taking time out for a workout or a healthy lunch or to work on that novel we want to write when our to-do lists are still a mile long?

This question is really getting at the mindset we have about taking the time for these things. The question itself suggests that it’s hard to see our own action items as important—or as of the same importance as the other items on our to-do lists. If you want to make successful and lasting progress with your goals this year, this is a critical shift in mindset that you MUST make.

When we see something as essential or valuable we cease to feel the need to defend or justify it.

What is your mindset about me-time and self care? Too many women are stuck in the mindset of believing that self care is expendable—that it’s an “if I can get to it” luxury that can be skipped with little consequence if you need to save time. Not true.

The very-busy president of the United States (and every past president I can recall) makes time in his incredibly busy life for regular exercise (as well as for leisure and other self care) does that tell you something about how important and life-enhancing it is?

Consider the costs of NOT taking the time you need for yourself. This includes NOT taking the time you need to move forward on your important goals.
 
Symptoms or side effects of not getting enough of what you need to thrive include:


  • Overeating
  • Compromised health and/or wellness
  • Diminished energy
  • Decreased productivity
  • Reduced focus (including getting distracted from your own goals and priorities)
  • Diminished passion for the things that are truly important to you
  • Exhaustion and stress
  • Time lost “zoning out” or escaping or “being tired”


When we take time for ourselves—to work on bettering our own life, our health, or goals and dreams we:

  • Become more of ourselves at our best—that translates into having more zest and energy for the responsibilities we face
  • We treat ourselves as valuable and that shows and rubs off on others—when we see ourselves, our ideas and visions as valuable we stand taller, play bigger, think broader and are more successful.
  • We provide a powerful model to those who are watching us. We show others how we expect to be treated and we teach our children that it is important to respect and to take good care of themselves as well.
  • We have more energy, focus, clarity. We are more confident.


Sound good? Here’s your challenge: what do you need to do to claim the time or energy that you need this week? What do you need to let go of or say no to in order for that to happen? What one action can you take to be more committed to your goals this week?

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