In our daily lives it’s just so easy to lose ourselves in our to-do lists: work deadlines, bills that need to be paid, or even basic errands like going to the market or taking the car to the mechanic.
The first things that we usually leave out are the ones that matter only to us. There are so many things to be done that thinking about ourselves may seem selfish, but the truth is that if we forget the basics for our own well-being, the rest will probably fall apart sooner than later.
I came to that conclusion recently. I was managing to maintain a very balanced life. Even when I was in the workforce working long hours at the office, I still found ways to take good care of me. I used to bike to work, went for long walks with my dogs on the weekends, practiced yoga at least three times per week and found the energy to cook healthy meals almost every night with my husband. But when I had a baby to care for suddenly I saw myself losing it. Between diapers, breastfeeding, cooking, dishes and tons of laundry throughout the day, I no longer had enough hours to get through everything. I started complaining a lot until someone told me that if I needed time then I should make that time and use it better.
I understood that I needed time for me and that that was actually ok. I decided that I would stop running errands while my baby was napping, nap time would me my moment, my sacred hour. I would leave everything to just enjoy doing something for me. That’s how the dirty dishes started piling up and I went back to doing yoga, writing, researching recipes, and sometimes just napping with my baby. For some aerobic training, I went back to walking with the dogs and just added a stroller. If it rains, we dance in the living room.
If you don’t take care of your mental and physical health, no one will do that for you. Complaining won’t help, but changing habits and being creative to find ways to fit in what you need to feel good, sure does. That’s the way to be the best version of you. If you take good care of yourself, you will be at your best to deal with all the other things in your life.
It’s like what we’re told to do on airplanes: first make sure to put the mask on your face before attending to others.
Find moments to disconnect, in the online world that we currently live in it’s so easy to spend hours checking what is going on in other people’s lives. We might think that social media is a way to relax and distract ourselves, but did you ever wonder what else you could be doing with that time? Did you ever consider using that time for other activities that might actually make you feel better like meditating, stretching or even simply taking some time away from screens?
Nowadays stress is a real issue, one that a lot of people have to deal with. It’s almost impossible to completely eliminate stress from our lives since it’s a reaction from our body when facing adversities. However, if you do opt for healthier habits, with time you can learn to control your reaction to stress.
Studies prove that meditating, exercising, doing yoga and/or having a healthy diet are crucial to a healthier life. The information is out there, we know what to do, we just need to choose to dedicate time to it.
Only you can listen to whatever it is your body is asking for.