Although I’ve had so many wonderful things happen over the last few months, life is unpredictable still brings some unexpected changes or experiences your way. We’ve all been there before: it a series of one stressful problem after the next, and you’re feeling overwhelmed beyond belief. I’ve been feeling that way recently, and my first instinct was to ignore it and keep showing the optimistic, blissful side I show 99 percent of the time in life. I would beat myself up and feel guilty if something negative happened and tell myself:
“You shouldn’t be upset about that because you OWN A HOUSE. Look at the good in your life.”
“Don’t let that get to you because today is going to be a good day.”
I would default to happiness and ignore the problems so much that they kept piling up one after another. Not long after everything came the inevitable…I would eventually break down.
The issue is that I can’t exactly do much about the problems that have been coming up. And that’s difficult for me to handle as a problem-solving perfectionist. When something is out of my control—I feel my skin crawl, and I can’t bring myself to relax until I know it’s solved. I felt as though I had no choice, BUT to put on a brave face and smile through all the problems hoping I could forget about them. And life simply doesn’t work that way.
A few weeks ago, this took a turn on me, but I didn’t say a word to anyone. I kept it all to myself and kept the brave face strong. Then, I was reminded by a friend that you need to do what’s best for you.
You need to take time for yourself because you can’t help others when you’re not helping yourself first.
It clicked that I wasn’t going to be able to solve the problems that were in front of me. But, I could help myself cope with those problems by dealing with them instead of ignoring them. And above all else, I really needed to take more time for myself.
Taking time for yourself is essential. When stress builds, you need feel-good activities and ways to deal with stress and problems in life. Even when everything is going perfectly fine in your life—you STILL should take time for yourself and do so as often as possible. So, if you’re needing a little extra time for yourself, but aren’t too sure where to begin—continue reading my five tips to get started.
1| Remind yourself you deserve this
Yes, you! You absolutely deserve to take some time for yourself and often as you need it. Weather it’s a day off from work, or two hours focusing on a passion project that calms you instantly. You definitely deserve a little extra time for yourself no matter what situation or state you may be in. Remind yourself that it’s okay to take time to shut off from the world for a little bit.
2| Allow yourself to feel
If things haven’t been going well, and you’ve been dealing with a lot—allow yourself to feel. Take time to feel sad or angry. Take time to feel everything you feel because your emotions ARE VALID. You should never feel like you need to push those emotions away. Accept them temporarily, so that you can eventually heal.
3| Shut off completely
Sometimes, social media and the Internet can be the worst place when you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and several other adjectives all mixed into one. Take time away from your phone so you can focus on dealing with the problems in front of you rather get caught up texting friends about their problems, scrolling through Twitter catching up on the latest world tragedy or something similar.
4| Make a list of things you love
This is what of the best things I’ve done because now I have a go-to list filled with things I love including favorite movies, websites, foods, and everything in between. The goal is to have a quick reference on the feel-good things you can do whenever you decide you need to take time for yourself. Do you have an entire day to yourself? Read your favorite book, watch your favorite movie, and treat yourself to your favorite food from the take-out place down the street. If you only have an hour, treat yourself to your favorite face mask and show you’re watching on Netflix while your phone is off.
5| Do something a little extravagant
If you have a little extra money and time to treat yourself, do something more than the typical feel-good stuff if you’ve been feeling more low than normal. Treat yourself to a massage. Treat yourself to a more expensive meal. Make your favorite dessert and indulge without guilt. Open that bottle of “special occasion” wine. Buy a dress you’ve had your eye on for the last few months. Life is too short not to do the things you want to do. Life is too short to wait for a special occasion to do something good for yourself. You deserve it no matter what day it is.
Remember: You need to take time for yourself. You aren’t helping anyone around you when you aren’t helping yourself first. So, take the time to shut off from the world for an hour, a day, or a week. Give yourself time to refresh and recharge, and you’ll be able to take on life and all that it brings.
How do you take time for yourself? Make sure to share in the comments below so we can find new ways to take care of ourselves during a busy season in life.