Finding time to care for ourselves can be difficult. We’re so busy taking care of our kids, our partners, our jobs, and so much more. Taking care of ourselves is pushed to the back burner more often than not.
I recently discovered Amy E. Smith‘s podcast The Joy Junkie. (Seriously, check it out, she’s such a bad ass and after you listen, you’ll feel like one too!) One of her older episodes, “Selfish is the New Black”, is a great place to start changing your mindset that self-care is selfish. News flash: it’s not.
Wait, wait, wait. You’re telling me that me doing something (or many things) for myself is not selfish?
I know, it’s crazy, but stick with me for a few minutes. Prioritizing self-care can be extremely difficult for most of us. I’ll use myself as an example. My entire life, I’ve been taking care of “all the things.” Schoolwork, my siblings, pets, jobs, cleaning house, etc. etc. etc. I did it all to help everyone else, but the truth was I was hurting myself. I just never “found the time” to take care of me.
These days I make a commitment to taking care of myself over “all the things.” It was hard at first. I would think about everything I needed to do at home or in my personal life and I’d immediately freak out. Now I stop, take a breath, and make a list of things that need to be done this week. Then I take a closer look. What do I really need to get done today? What tasks can I delegate to my partner? What errands can wait until later in the week? Boom, I just freed up some time for myself!
By prioritizing my self-care (gym, reading, journaling, meditation, therapy), I am choosing myself over everyone else. I am recognizing that this time for myself keeps me healthy, sane, and most importantly, happier. Find some time for yourself, at a minimum, every week. When you’ve gotten into the habit of finding time each week, try to find some time each day. It can be as simple as a morning cup of coffee with 20 minutes of reflection or even silence. However you choose to spend your time putting yourself first, it’s well worth it.