Listen: I get it. Life is busy and it’s not unusual to feel short for time, like you’ve got too much on your plate, or that you don’t have time to take on something new.
But let me tell you a secret: When you don’t prioritize yourself, you actually get less done and waste more time. Women especially tend to prioritize the needs of other people – spouses, kids, co-workers, or friends – and throw themselves to the bottom of the pile. After the bottom of the pile gets murky you need a break: you binge watch Netflix while slamming back bags of chips and entire pints of expensive ice cream. As a result you feel unproductive (not to mention bloated and constipated), your stress levels increase and life feels even more out of control. Why? You’ve been ignoring yourself and your needs and have tried to fill it with distractions and short-term highs instead of giving yourself a little love. Three things you need to remember here:
- It’s NOT selfish to say you have needs.
- It’s also not selfish to FULFILL those needs.
- You-time INCREASES your productivity.
That’s right. Making time for yourself will actually boost how much time you can dedicate to those around you, how efficiently you operate, and will even make you a more positive person. If you’ve become accustomed to putting yourself at the bottom of your to-do list, take it slow. Here are a few places to start:
- Begin your day with you: Give yourself 10-15 minutes every morning where you do something for yourself. If you can unplug and make it creative, even better. Just make sure it’s something you like to do, not something you feel like you should do. For example, if you like to run, do it. If you don’t like to run but feel like you should, this probably isn’t the time you want to dedicate to it.
- Stop multitasking: It’s actually seriously ineffective. While switching from e-mails to phone calls to shopping lists can make you feel like you’re getting a lot done, your time is likely better spent focusing on one activity at a time to streamline your efforts.
- Learn how to say no: If you can help, help. If you can’t, it’s OK to say no. When you stretch yourself too thin, not only will you probably bear the brunt of the exhaustion that comes with having too much on your plate, but whatever extra commitments you’ve made probably won’t get you at your best.
- Manage your stress levels: But unfortunately there are things beyond work and relationship stresses that come into play here. Modern living has brought in a slew of new things that put additional stress on the body, like the noise and pollution from urban living, chemicals in personal care products and pesticides on our food. Anything you can do to minimize ALL kinds of stress will be beneficial.
- Stop comparing yourself: What works for you isn’t going to work for the next person. And even when it looks like someone really has their shit together, behind closed doors that’s probably not the case. Focus on what you can do for yourself and you’ll be better off.
- Watch the sugar intake: Sugar contributes to stress, fatigue, and a whole slew of chronic illnesses. For many, sugar intake is VERY emotional and overindulgence has a lot to do with external fulfillment than giving working on the self.
Do a little for yourself each day and it will turn into a habit. Remember that small, manageable changes for your health are the best way to make sure they stick. You know what will work best for you. So, as always, take what you want and leave the rest.
What do you do for YOU each day? Let us know in the comments.
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