We are wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, friends, sisters, brothers, co-workers, bosses, taxi drivers, cheerleaders, house cleaners, little league coaches, confidantes, entertainers, and the list goes on endlessly… But first of all, you are YOU, a person worthy of acceptance, love and respect, a person who must learn to have his/her priorities straight if she means to succeed in all of life’s challenges. So today, I am simply going to focus on YOU, and remind you how important it is to not neglect the very chore of who you are! You will reach all of your goals much more effectively as you learn to listen to what matters to you.
By choosing to take care of ourselves, we actually are ensuring that we will be useful to others. Why do you think that they tell us that in a case of emergency in an airplane we need to put our own oxygen mask on first? Your own basic needs must be met before you can attend to the needs of others.
If you still can’t agree with the need to “put yourself first,” because that feels selfish, can you just agree to put yourself on an equal footing with those you tend to?
~If you insist they sleep enough, insist you sleep enough as well!
~Do you allow your kids down-time? Well, allow yourself down-time as well.
These simple rules are the MUSTs in order to preserve your sanity:
~Refuse to eat nonfoods (nutrient empty foods) and refined foods, and limit seriously your sugar intake, even raw sugar—this will cause your thyroid to function better and give you more energy, make your body work at its optimum state.
~Drink lots of water; remember that every cell in your body is surrounded by liquid! When you become even slightly dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, your energy level drops and you are not “at your best,” feeling off somehow.
~Don’t neglect exercise, even if you are ridiculously busy. Even if just a few jumping jacks here and there, or an extra set of steps. Aerobic exercise boots oxygen in the brain, releases endorphins (Happy Hormones, I call them) and gives you a clearer focus.
~Never skip eating because you are too busy! A car doesn’t run too well on empty, does it?
~Fill your fridg with colorful, yummy fruits and vegetables so that they are always there when you need to grab something on the run; even better, try to prepackage some!
~Me-time ought to be non-negotiable. This will allow you to be there for others later, to think clearer, to sleep better, to perform at your peak at work. Me- time will release stress and enable you to handle life’s issues that come at you. Me time is yours alone! Schedule it into the family planner if necessary, and stick to it! Your family will thank you in the long run.
~Surround yourself with a support system, find friends who will encourage you and make time to be with them! This is worth more than most things, and will cause you to be more effective and positive for everything in life.
~Identify “busy behavior” that drain your time and energy without bearing much fruit, and eliminate or minimize them.
~Learn to say “NO” to others and yourself if it will hurt you. The momentary pressure is worth it in the long run; we have to learn to look at the whole picture, not just what is right in front of our noses.
~Remember that what concerns you is NOT unimportant! You are an individual with great potentials, but these can only be reached as you take care of yourself first!