Put Yourself in the Equation

Where do you put yourself in your day? Seems like a funny question to ask. After all aren’t we all by the very nature of being alive in our day? The reality is that very few of us actually take time out to dedicate some portion of the day totally for ourselves. It seems we can always find some excuse that trumps our belief that it’s possible to have time for ourselves. The kids, the kids’ schedules, the project at work, phone calls that have to be returned, groceries bought, dogs walked, dinner guests or just about any other realistic reason. There is no disputing there is an endless supply of things that demand our attention daily.

For the most part, you can be pretty sure nobody will tell you to take time for yourself. They are usually consciously or unconsciously happy to have you slave away for them. Can you imagine your child saying to you” Mom/Dad you look tired; how about I mow the lawn, make dinner etc.?” Or how about your boss saying, “You have really been working hard; how about taking some extra time at lunch or better yet take the afternoon off?” I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, just unlikely.

Recently I was talking to a woman about where she puts herself in her day and she told me it was easier to not commit to something because she always felt bad when she didn’t live up to her commitment. For her, taking time for herself meant working out regularly. To take a long run or go to the gym was a luxury that she rarely afforded herself. I asked her if she realized that it wasn’t a commitment to working out but a commitment to herself. I pointed out how committed she is to getting all her kids’ needs met, volunteering at school, working a full time high powered job and running her household. She said, “It makes me exhausted when you say it like that.” The truth is she was exhausted. When we don’t put ourselves in the equation, we get worn out and eventually it affects not only our health but our mood as well.

Balance is essential to good health and feeling alive. Making time for you is essential to that balance. It can be as simple as taking time to sit down and read the paper, take a walk, a bath, mediate or exercise. It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters that you do it and know that you are doing it for you. Take a minute and assess how well you do at putting yourself in your day. Challenge yourself for a week to put yourself in your day everyday and see what a difference it makes. I am certain that once you realize it can be done without your world falling apart you will start claiming “me” time daily. It is also worth mentioning that by taking time for yourself you are teaching the kids and those around you that it is an important thing to do as well. When you take time for yourself, you will be happier, calmer and more at ease and I can promise this goes a long way to make your world run a whole lot smoother.