What Are Your Priorities?
Here’s a little quiz…name your top 5 priorities for today. Go ahead…jot them down, without reading ahead.
Now, how many of those 5 are personal, related to you, FOR you? Did you include meditation or yoga or exercise? How about down time for reading or relaxing in a bath? Doing something fun or rewarding? Time in nature? Or were they all about what needs to get done, things you need to do for others, job responsibilities, etc?
If none of the 5 were personal, it’s time to make a shift in priorities.
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement, and I use it myself often: Put on your oxygen mask first, then you can help others. When you tell yourself that taking time for you is selfish, or you listen to someone else say it, remember this phrase, because it’s 100% true. If we don’t take care of ourselves, eventually we won’t be able to take care of others, let alone enjoy life along the way.
Things are getting better, but it’s still the norm in our society to consider alone time, recreation, even exercise time as extras…something it’s ok to do as long as everything else is done and everyone else is taken care of first. Especially if you have a family.
The problem with that is…it won’t happen. There will ALWAYS be stuff to be done and taken care of.
When you’re the last consideration, you’re going to become depleted, less effective, even ill. And what about your level of joy in life? Do you want to be seen as the one who doesn’t smile, who’s grumpy (pretty common with lack of sleep!) or angry or overwhelmed all the time?
And what example are you setting?
If you’re a parent, how do you want your children to see you? Competent and loving and supportive, sure, but don’t they want you to be happy and enjoy your time together? One of the best things kids can witness is parents taking care of themselves…then they learn that it’s ok and can develop their own self care tools. You want THEM to take care of themselves, be relaxed and happy, right? They will struggle with that if they don’t have an example to emulate.
And do you want your friends, your partner, to be run down and grumpy? If you model the commitment to yourself and they see the positive results, they’ll be more inclined to adopt their own self care plan so they, too, can be more relaxed and able to not only handle, but enjoy life.
It’s also important to stay in touch with your Self…who You are, not just you as a spouse, parent, friend, employee or boss. You have needs, desires, interests, passions and opinions that are as important as everyone else’s. Are you valuing these?
How do you make the shift, to prioritize You?
I’ve heard so many times from clients…”I just don’t have time to take care of myself,” or, “I really want to, but it just doesn’t seem to happen.” There are 2 things that are needed to make consistent self care happen.
1. It has to be a priority.
It has to be deemed just as important as everything else on your list…a must do.
2. It has to be scheduled.
It can be set at a specific clock time, especially if you’re planning to attend a class or activity or fit in some down time between appointments or chores. Or, you can schedule in a certain order of your routine. I always make and eat breakfast, brush my teeth, then meditate. That may be at different times of the morning, depending upon when I wake, but it’s always in that order so I don’t get sidetracked. Either way, it needs to be part of your daily schedule to make sure it happens.
So, what are your priorities? Do they include you? How can you shift your mindset about self care and adjust your schedule to incorporate it into a daily practice? You matter!