“Go to work, feed the kids, take the kids to their parties, pick them up at sports, grocery shop, cook dinner, scrub the toilets, do the dishes, catch up on laundry… oh and take care of yourself….. what??? when am I supposed to do that? what part of the day between waking up and crashing in bed after the family and household is all taken care of could I possibly take care of myself?…” Sound familiar?
This struggle is, too often, the norm in today’s society. We praise busy lifestyles and equate that to happiness. Often times, we find ourselves struggling and just keeping our head above water to survive the day. The next thing you know, we are just living in survival mode. It’s not healthy and we’re not happy.
To be successful in life (and I use this term lightly, I am not referring to financial wealth, as I do not believe this to equate to success), we must invest in ourselves. This picture may look completely different from one person to the next. Find what makes you happy. There are so many ways we can invest in ourselves. Scheduling a 30 minute walk, a massage, acupuncture, coffee with a friend, going to the beach, kayaking, paddleboarding, painting a picture, taking an art class, building, creating, reading a book, taking an exercise class or finding a quiet place to journal/write are just some of the many things to recharge your system.
Schedule this time for yourself just as you schedule your family dinners and other important appointments. Make this a priority and you will reap the rewards of a happier, healthier version of you. We tend to view this as being selfish but when we invest in ourselves first, we give our best selves to those around us. We have more energy to give to our children, our spouses, our families and our friends. This becomes the exact opposite of selfish and we are, in turn, giving more of ourselves to those around us.
So, stop feeling guilty, let the dishes in the sink for a while, the laundry will still be there in an hour. Find what you love, schedule it as a priority. You’ll have more energy to do and be who you want and deserve to be.
By Teresa Thomas, mother of two beautiful kids, owner of Pedal Power Inc. Fitness Studio and Seeker of Happiness!