I’ll bet that the last item on your daily to-do list is something for yourself. Go ahead and check the last few days. I’m sure I’m right because that’s how my list usually looks. The top items are important tasks that must be done. The next few include things I must do for others, like family or church responsiblities. Then come the everyday tasks that I won’t forget but still write down. like laundry. And then, at the very end, I see that I’ve written something for myself – like mani-pedi., organize fabric for quilting, or start reading the book that I bought 3 months ago.
Why do we do it? Sure life is busy and our lists of responsibilities continues to grow. But why are you last on the list? This is especially problematic because most days, if we are honest, we don’t finish the list! That means we never get to #15 Me Time.
So, what do you do? Rather than throwing your own personal temper tantrum or bingeing on M&Ms out of frustration, let’s try this. Put yourself at #1. It’s really okay and you don’t have to do it everyday.
Afterall, if you are not being cared for, you can’t do your best for the ones who depend on you. Here are three tips to help you practice some totally worthwhile self-care:
1. Plan some quiet time to start your day – even if that means getting up 15 minutes earlier. Spending a few minutes to relax, stretch and consider what you need for the day will reduce your stress level.
2. Put a small reward in the middle of your list for getting x number of items checked off. No need to wait til the end. Maybe a break to make some tea and put your feet up. Then get back to work…
3. Identify something you really want to do and plan reminders throughout your day. For example, perhaps you have planned to take a walk with a friend. Set the alarm on your phone or computer to keep you looking forward to the visit.
The key is to remember that you ARE worth the extra effort to take care of YOU!