When you travel, flight attendants instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Living by these words, taking care of yourself before you can be there for others on a daily basis, ensures that you’re not putting yourself low on your own priority list. Just as you find time to nurture relationships with your partner, your children, your family, it is also imperative to nurture your most important relationship—the one with yourself.
Taking a look at the relationship you have with yourself can lead to more authentic, fulfilling relationships with those around you. When you take time to nurture yourself, you benefit from improved physical and emotional well-being. This helps you become a more available, energetic, happy, and peaceful individual—and a better relationship partner.
Interestingly, when you show those around you that you value time to yourself, they are more likely to respect that and value it as well! You may wonder where you are going to come up with the time to spend on yourself. In my therapy practice, I often hear how my clients are simply too exhausted and drained at the end of the day to find time for themselves. To be productive at self-care, you must create the time. Look at how you currently spend your days and ask yourself, “Is this the way I really want to spend my time?” You may find yourself reevaluating your daily routines—remember, being busy is a choice! For example, if you make a choice to spend ten fewer minutes each day on the Internet, you will then have ten free minutes to nurture yourself by reading a book, chatting with your best friend, walking, or simply relaxing alone in thought or reflection.
Set a goal to find some time for yourself. Put yourself on your own priority list. Put on your own proverbial oxygen mask, set aside some time, and fly solo each day, even if it is only for 5-10 minutes. You will find yourself becoming more efficient and present in each day.
- Meditate. Meditation is a proven effective treatment for stress, relationship problems, anxiety, poor focus, etc. Meditate each day, starting with just 5 minutes, and reap the wonderful benefits of simply being in the moment. Download a meditation app to get started.
- Be mindful. Remember to be aware and be present in each moment of your daily life. Reflect on your feelings about the experiences you have.
- Be creative. Learn to let some things go to make time for yourself. Let voicemail answer a phone call, ask for help with daily chores, turn off your cell phone for a set amount of time each day.