Have you ever been on a plane?
If you have, you probably would have heard the same message about using oxygen masks. You might even have it memorized.
“If the cabin air pressure changes dramatically, oxygen masks might fall from the ceiling directly in front of you. If a child is seated beside you, put on your own mask before helping to put a mask on the child.”
I’m sure in the moment, every person (specifically a mom) has been concerned with putting on a child’s oxygen mask before their own. And that’s the problem…
You can’t help others when you’re not helping yourself first.
It clicked that there’s a reason why aircrafts specify those instructions, so why aren’t we applying this life-saving information to our own lives? The same exact thing can be said about self-care. Taking time for yourself is essential. When stress builds, you need feel-good activities, and ways to deal with stress and problems that life brings. Even when everything is going perfectly fine in your life—you STILL should take time for yourself, and you do so as often as possible. 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 you take a full day off from work, or you cancel your plans to attend a party to focus on a passion project. You definitely deserve a little extra time for yourself no matter what situation or state you may be in. Remember that it’s okay to take time to shut off from the world for a little bit. In fact, I encourage you to shut yourself off from the world from time to time (see point three).
2| Allow yourself to feel
If things haven’t been going well, and you’ve been dealing with a lot—allow yourself to feel. Be angry. Be sad. Take time to feel everything you feel because your emotions ARE VALID. You should never feel like you need to push those emotions away because that’s not going to help you move past whatever you may be working through. Accept those feelings, so that you can heal, but remind yourself not to stay angry, or sad for long. After you give yourself time to feel, you also need to give yourself time to do things that will make you feel good. Get your hair trimmed, or take a shower if you haven’t had the strength to do so over the last few days. But make sure you don’t stay alone in those negative emotions so long that they become all-consuming.
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 not-so-wonderful 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, and scrolling through Twitter catching up on the latest tragedy. One thing I’ve struggled with immensely is helping people with their problems when I’m going through a problem myself. I’ll always be there for friends and family, but when it seems to be all about them and their problems, that isn’t the best space for you to be in all the time. Take time away from your phone, and do something you love.
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 watch an episode of the 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 things if you’ve been feeling more low than normal. Treat yourself to a massage. Treat yourself to an 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 to NOT 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.