Why is it that we women must constantly be reminded to take better care of ourselves… to make time for “me time?” Quite frankly, because we don’t.
I see more than 200 adult female clients each year, and every single one of them has similar challenges. They feel overwhelmed. They have ailments and injuries due to pushing themselves too hard. Their children are driving them crazy. Their spouses or partners take them for granted. And the list goes on. Even though they are investing time… and money… to tend to their skin care on some level, they are not investing what it really takes to be lower stress, find balance and be really happy.
For some reason, women seem to be more comfortable as caregivers than as care-receivers. There’s an ongoing debate among researchers and scholars as to whether traits of empathy, sympathy and compassion are gender-driven biologically, learned or even non-existent. But does the reason really matter? It doesn’t if you have a heart attack (the leading cause of death among adult women) or get cancer (the second leading cause) or something else because of self-neglect. What does matter is changing your behavior. Here are three suggestions for doing just that.
Schedule me time. Every week, you schedule picking up your kids from school, cooking dinner, picking up the dry cleaning, going to work and so much more. You do it consistently and with discipline. Why not schedule time for yourself just like you do everything else? Use a day planner, and schedule a minimum of five hours a week for just you. Spread the time out over your week. Also, you know that nagging to-do list that you try to knock out? Mark those tasks down on your day planner too, and spread them out throughout the week. You don’t have to do everything in one day.
Choose what you love. Do you love tennis? Do you love to walk on the beach? How about reading or taking a bubble bath with candles? Getting a massage? A facial is always a good idea because it makes you feel good and is good for you. Pick at least three things you love to do and schedule them regularly during your me time.
Eliminate the guilt. Communicate with your family and friends about your me time. Let them know your plans in advance so that they know what to expect. Your family wants you to be happy, even if you can’t always tell. And if you’re happier, you will be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend. The happier you are, the better quality time you will have with loved ones. And your joy will rub off on them.