As a mom, you could easily spend your every waking minute on doing for others, without taking time for yourself. There’s a problem with that, and I didn’t learn that lesson until my 40s.
I love being a mom, especially when my children were young. I was a stay-at-home mom who was all about serving my family. Keeping the house clean and organized, creating good, made from scratch meals, teaching my children and being a taxi driver for them to activities made me happy beyond measure.
The problem with that is it takes a toll on us. Constantly serving others, running from task to task, wears us down and frankly can give us a bad attitude towards others, even cause resentfulness.
We can only give so much before we run out of giving. When we fill our own cup often, we have more to give to others.
“Me” Time is Truly Essential
By taking time for yourself, you will keep a more positive attitude as well as continue to enjoy serving those you love.
Your time should not be the trip to the grocery store.
I can remember when the occasional solo grocery store trip was called, “my time”. It wasn’t enough then and it certainly isn’t enough now. Don’t sell yourself short by fooling yourself into thinking a trip to the grocery store will give you the refreshed, renewed feeling to keep giving.
When you regularly taking time for yourself, you will be happier and mentally ready to tackle more.
To be able to take a few minutes for yourself, you need to have an activity you enjoy to “fill your cup”. Of course, I recommend using at least part of your time to yourself to exercise.
Benefits of Exercise When Taking Time for Yourself
When you exercise hard enough and I say this because I used to “exercise” by walking around the neighborhood, but my heart rate didn’t get high enough to benefit me like I needed. So, when you exercise enough to really sweat and raise your heart rate, some really cool hormones are released that make a huge difference in burning calories and how you feel.
Since I have been in a regular exercise program, my overall sense of self is heightened. By exercising and eating healthy, I am taking control of my body more. It sounds strange, but it is pretty self-empowering.
My self-esteem and confidence are higher also because I am able to physically do more! My focus the rest of the day is on point to be productive…and happier doing even the mundane tasks!
Of course, there are ways to exercise to get your heart rate elevated enough for the good hormones to kick in that don’t require a workout program. Get involved with a sport or activity that will be a cardio exercise!
Taking Time for Yourself Lowers Stress, Which Lowers Risk for Health Problems
A result of not taking time for yourself is a higher stress level. When you are stressed, it causes more than just gray hair.
“Stress doesn’t only make us feel awful emotionally,” says Jay Winner, MD, author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life and director of the Stress Management Program for Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, Calif. “It can also exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of.” (source)
“Studies have found many health problems related to stress. Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.” (source)
Part of taking care of your health has to include taking time for yourself.
Here are Ways to Prioritize Taking Time for Yourself
There are ways to do the things we like to fill our cup without sacrificing the needs of those we love.
- Get up earlier than everyone else. In turn, make sure to go to bed early also!
- Put your “me” time on your calendar.
- Coordinate with your spouse for support in your “me time”.
- Understand yourself how important it is – it is not selfish to take a little bit of time for yourself.
Make time for yourself part of the daily routine. Those around you will respect that time more when they see it a regular part of the day or week.
Depending on your current situation, taking time for yourself may look different than it does a few years from now. Whether it’s a few hours a week or a few hours a day, doing something for yourself on a regular basis will benefit every aspect of your life and those around you.
You will be much happier when you are taking time for yourself on a regular basis. Contrary to what I used to think, it is vital to take time for yourself. It is vital to your health and wellbeing!
What are your secrets to ensure you are taking time for yourself? Please share in the comments below.