Are you taking enough time for you?
Do you prioritize yourself!
Are you always saying yes to everyone else?
Does that leave you feeling alone or perhaps even resentful?
Are your personal needs met?
As Mother’s Day is approaching, a day where mothers are being doted on for all that they do each day, it is often forgotten that self-care and prioritizing yourself is something that needs to stand always in the forefront.
I know first-hand that this is easier said than done!
When my son was first hospitalized in 2007 and even the years to follow, my health (emotionally and physically) was not number one. My priority was my son and his life as it took everything I had to keep him alive and so I continued to smoke and eat an unhealthy diet. I always told myself one day would it would all change, but for the moment my priorities were not with me.
You succumb to eating the processed cafeteria foods or take-out out of ease and comfort. And at times it can seriously feel like you don’t have any other choice. But you do. There’s always a choice.
How can you move from being everything to everyone and start being who you need to be for you?
- Decide you deserve to be a priority
- Decide how you will spend it
- Evaluate the things that waste your time
- Learn to say no!
- Ask for help!
- Schedule the things you must do
- Commit to me time daily and make it a ritual!
We talk about nurture and self-care all the time but what sometimes you don’t even know what that means!
Self-care in its simplest form means taking it easy, take a break, do things that you love.
Self-care is doing things that feel good to your body and soul in that moment and time.
What they mean to each of us, can differ from individual to individual.
Self-care is just allowing you some downtime from the daily hustle and bustle of work, parenting and whatever else usually keeps you overwhelmed. It’s a time to connect with yourself and allow your body some peace so it can rejuvenate itself.
And this can look so very different for everyone. Below you find some of the things I have used to support me.
- Make time for food that nourishes your body and soul. How much junk are you fueling your body with that leaves you tired and exhausted? How much fresh food do you eat to really give your body what you need? When you feel good, the soul feels good because it knows you are taking care of yourself.
- Exercise in some way through yoga, walking, running, Zumba, dancing or whatever call you to move your body. Allow it to feel good. It will help you from becoming to still and it’s just good for you to feel positive especially if you have been feeling down.
- Make bedtime a priority allowing you adequate rest time. For me, this is about 7-8 hours of sleep. For you, it could be a bit less or more. The important thing is that you rest your body!
- Do one thing you truly enjoy. Write, paint, crochet! Do it because you will feel amazingly good afterward for having done it.
- Connect with nature. Go outside, hug a tree, walk barefoot, sit in the sun. Allow yourself to feel the wind and the sun rays on your skin. Surround yourself with nature in every way.
- Practice gratitude throughout the day for each moment. For the raindrop that falls to nourish the earth. For the driver going too slow in front of you to keep you safe and quite without the speeding ticket. For the paycheck, you earn to provide a roof over your head. For life and the opportunity to experience it. Be grateful.
Self-care is respecting you enough to make time to be with just you.
Honoring who you are through the good days and tough days will help you learn to love yourself more, teach others that you are valuable and life will start to feel a whole lot better.
Boundaries are what honors you – all of you.
For you to have healthy relationships with yourself and others – setting and maintaining those boundaries takes time and practice.
It means you are aware and know your limits.
Here are some examples of when you are struggling with healthy boundaries
- Saying yes when you want to say no
- Feeling guilty when you say no
- Going against your own values to please
- Not speaking up when someone impedes your boundary
- Not sharing thoughts & feelings or opinions when you have something to say
- Accepting sex and physical touch when you don’t want it
- Allowing others to say and do things that make you uncomfortable
All of those won’t feel good and impact your personal, emotional, mental and spiritual health. They leave you lost, frustrated, confused about who you are, afraid of taking action and even lack of control over your own life.
So how exactly can you begin to honor yourself?
- Mindset – Acknowledge that having boundaries are not only okay but they are healthy to have
- Identify and name your limits – think about times you didn’t feel so good about a situation or person. Include your values, belief system, and outlook and acknowledge what does feel good.
- Share with others about your boundaries. Have a conversation about what feel good and what you can’t tolerate. Share with them how they may have made you feel.
- Be willing to give yourself permission to feel fear and self-doubt and acknowledge that people around you may not respond well. And be willing to accept that it is okay. Maintaining your boundaries is connected to your self-respect.
- Self-Care is and should be your priority. Allow yourself to put you first. This includes seeking support when you have a hard time with boundaries.
It’s okay to not have it all figured out and take small steps. One Boundary, one person at a time.
Boundaries are invisible lines where you space begins and ends and meets another person space.
Boundaries are also physical and non-physical in such that when someone steps too close to you and you become uncomfortable that someone crossed the line.
We all have our own comfort levels when it comes to space and what I often refer to as “the bubble”.
Boundaries are also feelings based on things we picked up over the years and were imprinted with on how we should respond to people in our world.
Boundaries are necessary!
This is an area I struggled with since I was 13, and probably even before then but looking back that is where crossing boundaries started to be more apparent.
I always felt I “should” do this or that to appease people because you have to be nice and say no, well you were left to feel guilty.
The moment I realized how untrue this is being the moment I could claim my own power and align myself in such a way that if it feels like I should, then well I probably shouldn’t.
2 years ago, I did an interview with Lift Magazine for Single Mums, and even now it’s quite clear that boundaries are always a struggle. We need to really get clear on our boundaries.
I rely heavily on my intuition, that gut feeling that tells me yay or nay and it’s so prevalent to listen to ourselves.
If you are overwhelmed with should and guilt, it’s time to look at how you can claim back you, your time and a life that allows you to feel good.
But how do you know where to start?
- Make a list of all the times a commitment or an interaction left you feeling uncomfortable.
- Make a list of all the times that you committed to something but you really didn’t want to do it but you felt guilty for not following through.
This isn’t about creating more guilt, but more of an awareness tool so you know what areas you would like to change in your life so you can create boundaries and honor yourself.
Now that you have those lists, ask yourself how you would like to respond and engage in the future. For instance, when the feeling of should come up, decline to commit or engage.
The guilty feeling will still be present but with practice, it will fade because you are taking care of who you are and don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed and exhausted due to crossed boundaries. Allow yourself to feel the relief because you honored yourself and make yourself important enough to engage in your own self-care.
There is this thing that is happening that could hurt you, rather than help you.
And I see it everywhere and it’s a huge problem for those who want to create a life according to their own terms and in a way that feels good.
For those who consider themselves, introverts, heart-centered and are driven by service rather than money.
And that is the hustle.
- They tell you to get up at the crack of dawn.
- They tell you to stop watching television or Netflix.
- They tell you to stop playing candy crush.
- They tell you to stop focusing on this or that.
- They encourage you to only focus on your business and work.
- They assume that if you take a day or the weekend off, you are not a hustler.
And frankly, you don’t have to be one to be successful!
I believe that if you follow the hustle but it doesn’t resonate with you, that in the end, you end up hurting yourself.
Part of creating the life you want is to show up how you want to, be who you are and be of service in a way that feels amazing to you.
The hustle can hurt you if you
- require some downtime to recharge your batteries
- are stuck in the struggle of “what to do next”
- are in resistance that can benefit of some surrender
- you are an empath and/or an introvert
- you neglect family in friends
There is a big part that is forgotten when people start talking about the hustle. It’s like the part of living is not remembered. That the only focus should be to work, work and then work some more.
But where is the fun? The part of where you are living your life rather than just existing?
And while this does work for some people, there are some of you that need the down time, that need a wee bit of distraction so that you cannot give everything of you to other people.
And the biggest challenges when others preach about the hustle is that you start to question yourself.
You begin to doubt yourself that you are not doing enough. That you are not giving enough. That you are not showing up enough. That you are doing it all wrong.
It feeds the monster of “not being enough”.
And in a world where fear of taking action due to self-imposed doubts due to past interactions and experiences, is doing a huge disservice.
It’s one of the big reasons, I am I talking about boundaries, self-care and creating your ideal week because I think it’s so incredibly important that you take care of your mental health in the process. And you have to fill your own well before you can be of service to others.
So, if you don’t align with the word hustle, know that you don’t have to.
You can do business and life alive in a way that feels good to you!
You can work as many hours as you like but don’t forget to live.
Don’t forget to do those things that you love to do that do not work or business related.
Don’t forget to have fun.
Don’t forget to be human.
If you like to shut your brain off for a bit playing candy crush, do so.
If you like to spend your weekend on the couch watching TV, do that.
If you like to go to bed at 11 pm and wake up at 7:30 am, do that.
If you like to take a nap in the middle of the day, do that.
Therefore, planning and knowing how you work is so important. This is where being a bit strategic about your actions and your week are incredibly helpful.
You can work on 3-5 most important actions 5 days a week and be as successful as you want to be!
The key to success is becoming self-aware of who you are and what you want to be, do and have,
There are many ways to be successful, you have to choose your own path!
Tell me, how does the word hustle make you feel? Inquiring minds want to know!