When you describe yourself to other people, who are you? Are you someone's spouse, mom, sister, daughter, dad, brother, son? Has your spare time been taken up by chauffeur duties to shuttle your child/children to activities? Do you have time to see your spouse for a date night? Do you get to the gym as often as you'd like? Do you get out to walk the dog regularly? Do you feel like you have lost a part of yourself along the way?
Carving out some time for yourself is essential. When we don't make time for ourselves we can get cranky and resentment starts to build. We might not even recognize warning signs at first, but they can continue to grow and escalate as we continue to be all things to all people. When things start to unravel, simple requests may appear demanding, and are met with a curt response.
A lot of people talk about balance which is important, but not always possible, at least on a daily basis; I like to focus on passion. What gets you motivated? What would you like to do that isn't happening right now? Maybe it hasn't happened for years. Let's take getting to your yoga class or gym, or just getting out for a walk around the neighbourhood. Figure out when you could make that happen — possibly it's first thing in the morning, after the kids are in bed, or maybe on a lunch break. Then, use that passion to make it a priority.
Talking to your spouse or significant other is also important — share how much this means to you and why, as this can bring up feelings. It means being open, honest and vulnerable, and maybe even being accountable for some of the things that you have said or done recently. Check in with your spouse or significant other; is there something they are trying to make time for as well? Maybe they are feeling the same as you! Negotiating and supporting each other is vital as you navigate a busy life.
The potential benefits of doing something for yourself include an elevated mood and increased patience with everyone. Whether it's daily or weekly, push to make it happen!
Thanks for reading our blog - I am a spouse, mom and therapist who has a passion for dancing and baking and I try to make time for myself every week!
Next time: Getting rid of the guilt