You Need To Take Time Out
Do You Need a Time-Out?
Spending time doting on our family and friends, or caring for those who are less fortunate, brings feelings of satisfaction and joy for many of us. Unfortunately, we sometimes get carried away, and overcompensate for what we aren’t doing in our own lives. When used as a crutch, these well-meaning efforts can lead to a false sense of balance that takes root and, ultimately, sabotages much of the good you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Now, everyone knows they should take time out for themselves, but did you know taking time for yourself is an essential part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle? In fact, without taking time to care for yourself, caring for your family and friends the way they need you to care for them will quickly become impossible. Think about that for a minute… If you are mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually drained, how does that benefit your loved ones? How can you give them the care they need if you have nothing left to give? If a motorist is stranded on the side of the road, can you give him any fuel if you haven’t taken time time to get gas for yourself? ...And, what would happen if you did? You would both be stranded!
Of course, recognizing the “why” is the easy part. And, if you’ve made a habit of denying yourself, the “how” could be a challenge. Some things you could consider might be starting a new hobby, or taking time to walk around the mall by yourself. Do something you’ve never done before, or go work out. The goal is to spend time doing something that allows you to focus on you, something that makes you feel good, and elevates your spirit.
Another part of the “how” would be this: Begin to surround yourself with people who think like you want to think. If you aren’t taking good care of yourself, find people who do take time to care for themselves and learn from them. Follow people on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook who teach how to live healthy, balanced lifestyles, find suggestions that appeal to you, and begin to implement those changes, little by little. Why does that help? Because Motion. Creates. EMOTION. That means, the more you do something -- the more it’s repeated, the more likely you are to want to do it again! Then, you will experience a “transference of emotion.” The more you are exposed to people who think like you want to think, and act the way you want to act, the more the emotions to think and act in that way will be transferred to you! This works in both the positive, and the negative. Your subconscious doesn’t distinguish between right and wrong. Instead, it feeds your conscious mind everything it has seen and heard. If you’re around people who do nothing but complain, your subconscious mind absorbs that behavior and sends it to the conscious mind, which, in turn, supplies you with your own list of grievances. Thankfully, the opposite is true, too! Surrounding yourself with positive influences will condition your mind to generate positive thoughts and emotions; those messages will begin to permeate your being and affect the way you think, act, and speak!
Finally, above all else, be sure to start small, and recognize small wins. Understand that humans are motivated by accomplishment. That’s why it is so important you start with attainable, well-defined goals that help you feel good about yourself. Tailor your goals to be achievable, then, once reached, celebrate that victory! You’ve earned it! The more you achieve, the better you will feel. And, the better you feel, the more motivated you ultimately become!
Just be sure, in all you do, to love yourself enough to make YOU a priority. Remember, you deserve the same compassion, kindness, and consideration you give to others! And, without that commitment to yourself, the attention you give to those who need you won’t be the kind of quality attention they deserve. Taking time out to love YOU will help you to love them.
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
-- Audre Lorde