I was talking with a girlfriend this morning about the importance of self-care. She was listing all the different roles she’s expected to play for all the various people in her life. She said, “I just need a day all to myself!” And my response? “Then you need to do that!”
That’s when I realized that I should write about the importance of self-care. So many of us ignore it. As a professional organizer, it may seem that this topic is outside of my wheelhouse. But remember that I am also a time management consultant. It is so important that we take care of ourselves and ensure that our personal needs are met because self-care is crucial for living a productive, successful, meaningful life.
A Common Problem. Most women I know talk frequently about how tired and run down they feel all the time. And it’s no wonder. We all try so hard to be super woman and to make it look easy. But the fact is that it’s not easy at all.
We get up early in the morning, get ourselves and our children out the door, work all day so that we can pay the bills, help our kids with their homework, take care of the work around the household, run the errands, communicate/meet with our kids’ teachers, figure out the dinner plan for our family, and somewhere in there, we try to spend time with our spouse, while trying to get to bed at a decent time. Some of us can’t even find time in our schedules to exercise on a regular basis.
Taking care of others. As women, it is also our tendency to take on the problems of others, such as our friends, family, and even co-workers. And a lot of times, our concern for others can come before concern for ourselves. We are naturally good empathizers, so we can’t help but want to take care of the people we love. And sometimes, our deep concern for others can weigh us down, possibly without our even realizing it. This, my friends, is the opposite of self-care.
Relieve and forgive yourself. In order to continue being everything to everyone, we have to be rested and refreshed. Give yourself permission to (gasp!) take a day off. Don’t be anything for anyone, and spend your day off by yourself. If your house isn’t guaranteed to be empty all day long, ask a friend if you can spend your day at her house, or rent a hotel room for a day. Just get some peace and quiet! Read a book, do some adult coloring, surf the web, etc. And don’t let yourself think for one minute about other people’s problems.
I understand that taking an occasional day off for “no real reason” is outside of most of our comfort zones, but it’s as necessary to a healthy lifestyle as eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep.
How many of you take “mental health days” on a regular basis, and what is your favorite way to spend that rejuvenation time?