When did you last pause to question, in your busy days, when did you last take time out for you? Have you ever actually worked out how much time you take to just care for You? When time seems to escape you on a daily basis with an endless list of self-imposed ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’, taking time out for yourself can seem an indulgence… and it can seem that you just don’t have the time for that.
You know, those ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ don’t belong to you by the way – they belong to someone else – you just adopted them into your belief system and now you are ‘choosing’ subconsciously perhaps, to own them – when we dance to someone’s else’s tune, we often forget over time that we did this and believe instead it’s our tune because it’s now so familiar. Maybe you’ve entertained the idea of ‘Me’ time from time to time with a glib comment such as “Yeh, wouldn’t that be nice” or ‘”huh fat chance!”
How Your Self-Esteem Links To Your Self-Care
Do you ever consider not doing something but then tell yourself you’ll feel guilty if you don’t? When we do things out of obligation or duty, we secretly begrudge it but we may feel powerless to act differently. This often leads to our feeling weak and controlled. Worse still, perhaps, you suspect deep inside that regular time out for you isn’t something by your calculations so far, that you are deserving of. If your self- esteem is a little low, you won’t take time for you because deep down you may not believe you are worth it! Ironically, the less time we spend on ourselves, the worse we feel about ourselves and we feel even less worthy of moments of tender loving self-care as time goes on.
The truth is – “not taking time for you is damaging every relationship in your life” – your relationship with your children, with your husband, with your parents or others you maybe care for, even your working relationships with colleagues. Add to that, the fact that by not taking good enough care of yourself, you are probably frazzled and running on empty; your body is tired and your immune system is weakened, so health is potentially at risk too. Perhaps you can relate to this and I am starting to get your attention?
Investing in ‘Me’ time means you regain your energy and vitality; you unscramble your mind and you lighten your mood. Overall you achieve more than you could’ve imagined in that old frazzled way of doing things previously. You’ll feel happier too. Ironic as it sounds, finding the time, to an extent creates more time, not less.
Maybe you are balking at the thought of accepting the idea that your needs are just as important as the needs of others… I often get this reaction from clients when they first come to see me. As you raise your self-esteem, increasingly you grow to recognise and accept that “Loving Yourself First” means taking good care of you so that you can give of yourself more fully and more willingly to those people in your life who matter most. If you want to make a real difference in their life – make a difference in yours first!
I recommend you keep a tally of how you spend your time and notice on the scales of balance, how much time is allotted to everyone else, to chores, to work. Next, assess the quality of any time for you and ask yourself how it could be better? Finally, make a list of everything that makes your heart sing. What you love to do? Who do you most love to spend time with? What makes you feel loved and whole? When are you happiest? Make a promise with yourself to do more of those things… Look at your schedule and diary time for you so that you commit to it – in a small way at first, say two short slots a week and build up.
Since moving to the New Forest I have rekindled my childhood passion for horse riding and I am blessed with the opportunity to exercise someone’s horse for them weekly. Putting the horse through his paces and jumping fallen trees in the forest makes my heart sing and pound… Beach Walking, Tennis and Body Balance (a fitness dance routine of tai-chi, pilates and yoga) also tick my boxes. What ticks yours?
If there is a nagging in YOU that tells you that you need to learn to value yourself more but you have difficulty achieving this, please do get in touch. I’d love to help you to find what works for you so that you can feel good about yourself – and be healthier and happier within yourself every day.
Do you feel powerless, anxious and overwhelmed to make change happen in your life? I’d like to offer you an immediate opportunity to take a break from your stresses and anxieties. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD my FREE De-Stress Audio.
Lisa Skeffington, Anxiety Expert – Anxiety Help Bournemouth