A common theme that I have seen come up again and again over the last couple of weeks with my patients is "not having enough time to....(fill in the blank.)" If you haven't checked out my "About Me" page which talks about my job as a Physician Assistant, check it out! I see a great group of women and I've had quite a few chats lately about this very topic. It keeps coming up again and again.... that it is the inspiration for this week's blog post!
So let's dive in.....
I think we can all relate to "not having enough time." I definitely can! For example, I worked a full day today. I had multiple things on my to-do list when I got home from work (one of which was to write this post), and the last thing that I want to do is add anything else on my list, even if that means taking care of myself. In fact, I wanted to go home and get right to "ALL THE THINGS." But, I know for a fact, that once I get home, if I don't take 10-20 minutes for myself, it ain't gonna happen! Am I right??
Unfortunately, I see it again and again, as women, we seem to put ourselves last. I'm even guilty of it at times.
What happens when we don't make ourselves a priority? We feel unfulfilled, exhausted, unimportant, and disconnected from ourselves. AND the end result is that our HEALTH can absolutely start to suffer.
So back to my afternoon.........Of course, I get home, I'm tired from working, sitting all day and I really don't want to do anything. BUT, I took this moment as an opportunity to CHECK IN. I paused for a moment, instead of rushing into my list, and asked myself, "WHAT DO I TRULY NEED IN THIS MOMENT?" The answer: a quick workout. My body was craving some movement, especially after sitting so much of the day. I knew I had a ton of things to do, but I knew that afterwards I would feel so much better. And I wouldn't regret it! I have regretted NOT DOING a workout, BUT I have never regretted DOING the workout. I told myself that I could manage a quick 20 minutes. Could all the things I had on my to-do list wait 20 minutes? ABSOLUTELY! So there I was, in my living room, music playing while doing a quick HIIT workout on Youtube. (Nope I don't only do yoga exclusively, just 90% of the time :) ) Afterwards, I felt reenergized, more fulfilled and reconnected to myself.
I think that it isn't selfish to take even 10 or 20 minutes a day towards our health, in whatever way that might be needed.. planning our meals, doing some yoga, going for a walk, journaling, even sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee WITHOUT SCROLLING on our phones! Think about it....can we take 10 minutes out of our day to put towards ourselves, instead of scrolling on social media?? (GASP!) It's so true!
3 QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF WHEN I MAY NEED TO MAKE MYSELF A PRIORITY:
1. Can I find 10-20 minutes to connect with what I need at this moment or today, whether it's exercise, meal prepping, cooking a healthy meal, meditation, or other self-care?
2. Am I willing to make this activity a priority TODAY, either now or scheduled later today, because I know I will feel great afterwards and I know the importance of taking care of myself?
3. Can the items on my to-do list be postponed 10-20 minutes? (Most of the time the answer is YES!! )
Now, I am not saying to ignore your family or children. If you need to make dinner, pick up your kids, bathe your kids, etc etc-- go for it!!! These are non-negotiables in my opinion. However, if your to-do list is consisting of starting the laundry, making a phone call, paying a bill, etc etc-- all of those things will still be there in 20 minutes. Maybe, put yourself first before those things. Often times after we do so, we have better attention for those tasks we need to do. AND we feel better and more fulfilled because we did take a little time for ourselves.
I truly believe that even if we take 10-20 minutes in the day to take care of ourselves, we do become more attune to our bodies and what they might need. Those 10-20 minutes all add up. Consistency, even if it is a little bit of time each day, is what makes the difference to bring about great change in our lives!!!! IT ALL ADDS UP!
So, like my patients who also get frustrated with trying to find the time to take care of themselves, if you find yourself in this position, ask yourself the 3 questions above. Maybe also ponder, what I can I do today to try to make my day a little bit healther? Just start there!!!
You might surprise yourself with what you come up with! Comment below with something that you can do to make your day a little healthier!