In growing and becoming a mature person, there might be some area’s that need a little up grade now and then. How is your guilt meter? Do you feel guilty when you take time for you? Some of you are staring blankly at this post and saying “guilt, what guilt? I don’t feel guiltly at all for taking time for me.. “ and that’s awesome. You have reached a level in maturity I aspire too.
For everyone else, guilt in this area, is real and sometimes a hidden or not so hidden battle that rages on inside of us. In air planes when there is an emergency the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling and you are advised to put your own on before you help your children or those around you. I always thought,:
What?? How can this be possible??
They are your babies, you would give your life for them. However it’s also explained, that if you dont make sure you care for yourself, you can’t care for anyone else. You are no good to anyone if you are dead.
You may have heard phrases in life such as:
- You can’t pour from an empty cup
- You can’t give more than you have
How many have you heard? These are not new phrases, but they are some of the hardest to understand, especially in a world that says we can do it all. And if you can’t, someone will make you think “Why not?”
Now I have a masters degree in feeling guilty. It took many years and lots of studying and taking of exams and passing with flying colours. However of my education this is the least I am proud of, it’s not something I proudly hang on my wall or bring out to show to new friends, however it seems to be the one degree that shows up loud and proud, without my help. And in talking with people it seems many of us went to the same school and we all graduated at the top of our class. How did that work?
Having a long term relationship with feeling guilty about taking care of yourself and taking time for you, is not easy to dismantle. Wait again WHAT???
That’s right, it’s not EASY. Sure I’m going to give you 5 tips on how to start making time for you(and not feel guilt about it) and they themselves are easy (kinda). But if you have ever tried to seporate yourself from something that refuses to go away, (excess weight, sales people when you signed up for that one free gift, that one newsletter you signed up for and now you get 10 emails a day) just remember it takes time.
Here we go:
Tip 1. Don’t agree on the Spot.
That means to anything. Give yourself some breathing room. When you answer in the moment, to a lunch date, a job, a project, a childs imprompt play date, a last minute dinner party, you may and often times will regret it. Then when you look at your already busy schedule and because you have said yes, usually the first to go was those free moments you had for some quiet time. And the guilt meter rises, not to mention it’s pals, the stress meter and the resentment pit. Let the person asking know you need some time to check your schedule, in the end you both will be better off.
Tip 2. Keep that appointment with yourself, it’s Vital.
I can already hear some of you saying but what if….. and yes, stuff can come up. We live in the real world. However how much of those so called interuptions are really that important?
BUT ____________ (insert name) will be upset if I don’t ________
Stop, need I remind you that if you are to the point of exhaustion or even just really cranky, you are NO GOOD to anyone. So keep your appointment with yourself. You need to breathe, recharge, and do something that you enjoy. Or do nothing and enjoy that, Naps are wonderful too and not just for kids!! It doesn’t have to be for a long time, you are in charge of that too. But you should come back feeling ready to dive into whatever your world looks like again.
Tip 3. Be ok with others not being ok.
You might face some resistance with this taking time for you idea. Now since I’m not talking about leaving your family so you can go off and become a rock star in LA, while a great daydream, not RESPONSIBLE! I’m talking about a few hours a week. Guess what, they will survive. Feel that guilt meter go down? Good. Any change brings resistance at first. It’s proven, most people don’t like change in-the beginning even if it’s great! This is where you might have to stand your ground and take a little heat. Again put the reminder out there, you can’t be at your best, if you have nothing left.
Tip 4. Have a back up
This is more for the mom’s but it’s a good idea to always have a back up plan. Have a second person in the wings for a babysitter just in case life happens. And in general, have another me time plan incase of bad weather, or maybe that coffee shop you wanted to head too is really crowded or closed. Then your time isn’t spent trying to figure out what to do.
Tip 5. Be easy on yourself when things don’t go as planned.
You had the schedule planned, you are ready to walk out the door and a million things went wrong. So you couldn’t possibly leave and now on top of the stress/disappointment you feel, you feel guilty because you know you need to take care of yourself too. STOP! Breathe and know this life you live is day to day, moment to moment. And it’s not perfect. And it’s ok. The schedule is not in stone, life is full of interuptions, but the more we pile on our own guilt the harder it is to break free.
I have in no way mastered all of those tips myself, but I’m a work in progress too. And I’m happy with that.
Enjoy your day, leave a comment below and let me know what you do to enjoy your me time, and I would love to know how you schedule it? Daily, weekly or even every month.
ENJOY YOUR LIFE, IT’S A GIFT