As purposeful women, we tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We have talked multiple times about the value of making time for yourself; getting up 15-30 minutes before the family or scheduling time for you. It sounds good and yet how often do we comply?
I’m reminded of the speech the flight attendants share before every take off:
In the unlikely event that we loose cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down – if you are traveling with a child, secure your own mask before securing theirs.
If we tend to ourselves first, it enables us to be more available for others; not less.
Life Buzz shared an article offering 30 Things We Needed to Start Doing For Ourselves. In the actual title of the article the author says “Number Four is Absolutely Vital.”
What is number four?
#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
In an Oprah Magazine article “Why It’s Okay to Put Yourself First,” author Val Monroe asks a very important question:
Why is it hard for many of us to do things for ourselves before we do for others? Maybe we believe the “good” woman sacrifices herself for her family and, increasingly, for her work. “In terms of our relationships, women often feel they’re responsible for everything—which is not a complete misperception,” says nationally syndicated columnnist and life coach Harriette Cole. “We are the ones who usually lead the way. But somehow we get from there to the idea that the world won’t work if we don’t help it along.”
Have you felt that? That if you aren’t involved, things won’t move forward or get done; or get done correctly? One of the greatest gifts we can give those around us, at home and work, is the responsibility of project or task that we’ve been doing. Our four year old might not put the clean silverware away as well as we would, but imagine how proud they’ll be when the task is complete. They were able to “help mommy.”
The same is true at the office. If we put faith and trust in our associates to lead a project we would normally complete; it improves morale, and may even be done in a different, unique, and dare I say it – better – way that we would. Thus freeing us up to spend a little time on ourselves and our projects.
Val Monroe concludes her article with thoughts on the benefits of putting yourself first:
In fact, being skilled at taking care of yourself may improve your capacity to care for others; if you’re not fulfilled, you’re only able to see other people through the filter of your own needs. And studies suggest that not taking care of ourselves is unhealthy for those who depend upon us. At the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, researchers found that greater levels of caregiver stress were associated with increased respiratory problems among the infants in their charge.
Is your happiness a priority?
It is a new week – how about starting the week by doing one thing just for you and see how that makes you feel.