Giving YOURSELF more time and attention will NOT be taking away time and attention that you have to give to others...it will give you MORE.
I spoke about this on my Instagram stories last week because this kept coming up a lot in my sessions with coaching clients. Although I don’t believe this is only an issue that women have, I do hear it a lot from not only my clients but from other mama friends. This idea that if we give ourselves any amount of attention, it is selfish and taking away time that we NEED to put on the daily tasks at hand or the people we care for in our lives.
While yes, there are only a certain number of hours in a day and we cannot actually create MORE time, we can create more within ourselves to give by actually taking some time to connect to our self. We seem to be plagued in this society with the idea that more is more and if we aren’t spending every waking moment in action and in the doing, we aren’t actually being a productive and valuable human. This is such a harmful mindset and one that is the cause of so much burn out and stress and anxiety. Not to mention the obscene amount of expectations that are placed on women, whether at home or in the workplace, mental load or physical load of daily life. That being said, we have to take back control of our own burn out around it all. We have to step up and step in to a new way of existing and make it NON-NEGOTIABLE each and every single day in order to make it clear that which is no longer acceptable.
I know the moment that my daughter is in burn out. She all of a sudden stops listening, she gets punchy and can’t seem to focus on anything. When this happens, we know that she needs to power down and really, get quiet with herself. If it isn’t actually time for bed, we offer some options to be safely alone in her room for a bit of time. Sometimes it means she lies down and listens to a story, sometimes it means that we simply put some soft music on while she plays and sometimes it’s non-messy art time. We leave the room and she spends time alone, tending to herself in any way that she feels fit. In fact, as I write this, she is in her room coloring mandalas, listening to stories with oils diffusing! All of it her choice in how to care for herself. As her parents, we have made this kind of time non-negotiable for her for now, while it's our job to help guide her along and read her signals. However the older she gets, the more she takes this time voluntarily and hopefully it is something that she will carry with her for the rest of her life.
As adults, we seem to forget that we still need this every day too. We don’t outgrow the need for this kind of time, care and attention. And yet we so quickly and readily give it away as if we can just keep on plowing through without any consequences. What is even worse is that even when we start to feel and notice the consequences, we STILL don’t allow ourselves the option to slow down and get more deliberate with our own attention. We have gotten so good at normalizing stress and fatigue and mental overload that we simply carry on, business as usual. Whereas if we were to just stop, take a bit of our time and sanction it off for ourselves, we could relieve some of the pressure.
To dive into the deep end a little bit here, this issue when it comes to women is so prevalent because we often don’t value ourselves enough to take the time. Much of that is because we have been told that giving to others is the most important thing to do and should always be first on our list. We are programmed to think that our love must first be constantly projected outward both in how we give it and in how we pursue it.
So how radical would it be if we decided that today, we were going to begin giving ourselves 5-10 minutes each day (longer if you can) of your own undivided attention? What if you made it non-negotiable and actually put it at the top of your priority list or even added it to the calendar? And I do not mean to stop doing whatever you are doing and go scroll social media or watch something. I mean that you sit with yourself, you breathe, you journal, you do something that is the opposite of distraction because it is actually cultivating inner connection. I am willing to place money on it that if you did this for the next several weeks or months you would notice a drastic difference in the overall quality of the time and attention that you give to others. You would actually notice that you have so much MORE to give of yourself, because you are first and foremost in the nurturing of yourself. It would change the way that people interact with us, the way that we interact with people and most importantly for me, finally teach our daughters that self-care is not selfish. Self-Love is not arrogant and that Self-Worth does not come from an outside source.
I would love to guide you into this new, radical way of being. The entire month of March is going to be all about meditating each day. You may be surprised at what this means, and if you are someone who has never even considered meditating before, I highly recommend you signing up! All month long I will guide you and help you create some sacred time for yourself each day through the art and practice of meditation. The entire cost is $25 which means that you will be spending less than $1 a day on yourself, but I promise you that it will pay off as if you spent millions! So are you ready to be the radical, feminist (and I don't just mean female), most empowered self-care/self-love/self-worth advocate you have ever been?
Be able to give more of yourself by first giving more TO yourself.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.