Ladies, I have a serious question for ya- why are we, as awesome, intelligent women, always feeling guilty, even though we tend to put everything and everyone as priority above ourselves? Guilty for working too much or for not working enough, guilty for not spending enough time with the kids, spouse/partner. Guilty for not dressing to the nines on a daily basis or because you spend too much time getting ready. Guilty because time got the best of you and now it’s after 7 pm and no one has eaten.
STOP IT!!!! Stop the guilt! Guilt on this level is a perception that has been created and was continuously pounded into our brains as wee tots. Now, don’t get my words twisted; if you go out and rob a bank or drive under the influence and cause an accident, you are guilty of that crime. I am referring to the things that would not have us locked up and wearing orange jump suits or even stepping foot into a court room, the things we truly should not be feeling guilty for. Here is what guilty means:
culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing.
Number one, we’re only human, born to make mistakes- my fellow 80’s babies or the parents of said babies should get that one. Life won’t end because you left the load of clothes in the washer again…for the third time. Number two, if you aren’t taking care of you, you are no good to anyone else! Here’s the deal, the world will literally stop rotating if you don’t stop putting yourself 2nd to everything else…well, maybe not on that big of a scale, but self-care is SO important.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.” ~Deborah Day
As I travel on my own journey, I have realized that people who depend on me most also need the best of me and because I feel it is my job, my ultimate goal in life to make sure everything and everyone is always taken care of, I found I was giving all of me away and there was nothing else left at the end of the day. At one point, I was so overwhelmed with working 16 hour days from home, a baby under 12 months with me at home, three other girls to run here and there and everywhere, a husband to spend time with, a dog to take care of, a house to tend to, laundry baskets for days, dinner to make (or pick up because it’s too late to cook), dishes piled up in both sides of the sink, still in yesterday’s clothes that, of course, smelled like week-old formula and consisted of stretched out yoga pants that give you SBS (Saggy Butt Syndrome), again, and that one shirt that has real holes, not the ones that you have to pay for but it’s so comfortable you can’t bare to give it away or worse, toss it- we have ALL been there in some shape or form and there’s no way to put it other than IT SUCKS!!
Where do I squeeze in time for me, you ask? It’s impossible, I have more important things to do and worry about, you say. Want to know what I say? Bull…bull on all of it. If other people can do it, SO CAN YOU. You and your self-care should be at the top of your “importance scale” . You have to make it a priority! We all get the same 24 hours to spend however we choose. So what if one of the daunting tasks mentioned previously doesn’t get accomplished, the day will keep going and the Earth will keep spinning. Let me rephrase, you probably should not include the dinner part in the same category as things that can wait, just saying.
You have to carve out a little time for you and you have to find a way to not let guilt weasel it’s ugly little face in the picture. You aren’t just doing it for you, you are doing it for the very ones that need you too. There, does that make you feel better? Does that help to put the guilt in the back seat so you can be the driver? Whatever it takes, right?!
“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.” ~ Unknown
What is one thing, the one activity you do during your day that you could part ways with? Could you go without watching that episode of Game of Thrones (fact- most of today’s society has DVR, I wanted to add in a work-around, I mean it’s the Game of Thrones)? Could you manage waking up 30-45 minutes earlier or going to bed a little later? Could you incorporate a little “me love” during your lunch break? It really doesn’t matter when it happens, it just needs to be happening and on a consistent basis. This is not a one time deal. You could read a self-help or self-care book, get your nails done, go watch a movie by yourself, meditate, take a hike in woods, sleep, take a milk bath. Whatever level you want to focus on, be it physical, mental, or emotional, make sure it aids in taking care of you and makes you happy. When you incorporate daily, yes- you read me correctly, daily self-care it will help to improve your mood. It can also help with lowering anxiety levels. Your significant other, your children, as well as everyone else you encounter will be able to pick up on the positive vibes you are putting out there. So, hop off that guilt train and catch a ride to your new way of living! Yay, no more Negative Nancy or Dreary Debbie for you- you now possess the qualities of Positive Patty and Sunshine Sam!
Moral of the story- don’t be so hard on yourself and beat yourself up over petty things, take care of yourself first so you can take care of everything else.
*Pictures used in this post are not mine and I do not claim credit for them.