We all have a picture in our head about how we are supposed to be. All too often this picture is not something that we are likely to achieve. We rush around day to day trying to do it all, be it all and create an enormous amount of internal pressure to be perfect. The reality is living this way is possible, but at what cost? We seem to be getting busier and more overwhelmed as our world gets more complicated, gone are the days of the 9 to 5 work day, 9 to 3 school day and weekends with one or two commitments. It feels as if it’s getting busier every year.
Busy seems to be the new normal.
I can hold my hands up and say I am guilty of playing who’s the busiest competition when I catch-up with friends. Actually I used to be quiet good at it. Towards the end of last year I started to hear myself participating in the following greeting “Hi how are you?” I would listen to what the other wonderful person said as their reply and then I would give my enthusiastic response to being asked how I’m going and it went like this “I’m good, busy, but good”. To me I was being positive, I was good, and I was busy, so I was being honest. Now I am feeling very different, I cringe when I think about greeting people this way.
For some strange reason I was comfortable with the image of being busy, that somehow that made me more successful. I have since checked myself. I can get off track sometimes, as many of you know by now, but I can very happily attest that this year has been very different!
This year I am making a conscious effort to slow down, stress less, and spend more time on things I enjoy and so far it’s going perfectly. This year I have been working on the premise if it’s not a HELL YES! Then it’s a HELL NO! Last year I got a little better at saying no when it didn’t work for me or my family, this year I am taking it all the way. The time and energy I was spending on things that I said yes to, is now spent on time for myself.
Society can make you feel uncomfortable when you take the time to spend on yourself. You can feel quiet selfish taking the time to do things for ourselves that make us happy. When you take time from your busy routine, your never ending ‘to do list’, your spouse, kids and family, the guilt is enough to turn you completely off. But if you’re not fulfilled, if you’re not happy, spending time on yourself can help you discover who you are, you can figure out what you really want, it can give you time to get some much needed perspective.
Focusing on yourself is probably the least selfish thing you can do.
Now I am out of the who’s the busiest competition and I am making the time for myself I’ve had a huge realisation, you cannot put the responsibility on the people in your life to give you permission to make time for yourself. It’s not their job to do this for you! Having this expectation, well it’s a little crazy and a touch selfish. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself, no one else’s, it’s all yours.
It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, it only matters what you are doing. Focusing on yourself isn’t selfish, it’s important, it’s necessary and not enough of us are making the time to do it.
My challenge to you this week is to make some time for yourself, schedule it in, let the people in your life that need to know, know. It can be something as simple as taking a bath when the kids are asleep or signing up for that Yoga class you’ve been meaning to do. Make the time for you, it’s vital for your well-being and don’t allow the guilt to creep in and not follow through with your plans. Everything can honestly wait, it will be there when you are done and it will be there next time as well.
We are all busy and being busy is not a competition, there is no trophy, just an endless list of stuff to get done. Life is way too precious to spend in that head space. It’s time to carve out time for you, doing something that makes you happy, makes you smile and fulfils you. I promise you will be a better person not only for yourself, but everyone around you.
It’s time for YOU!