You can’t remember the last time that you put yourself first. And when you did, there was that nagging feeling that you should really be doing something else. However hard you tried you couldn’t stop the guilt from creeping in:
‘who am I to be taking time out when there’s so many other things to do...’
‘I’ll be behind for the rest of the week now…’
‘It’s not that important, I’ll reschedule it for next month…’
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most of us have spent so much of our lives putting someone else’s needs first that it can feel uncomfortable to enjoy time for ourselves. But, I promise you that you can learn to put yourself first, without the guilt.
Firstly, it's important to remember that...
Creating time for yourself isn’t a luxury. It gives us time to nurture ourselves and rebuild our sense of self. In turn this helps us to grow and brings the best parts of ourselves forward to share with others. So really, creating time for yourself makes you happier and healthier which benefits everyone...right?
So, let’s give this a try:
Practice taking a few minutes daily - or every other day if you absolutely have to. And, put yourself first. Listen to the voice of resistance, is it coming from you or maybe someone else? Either way, the more you practice the easier it becomes to put yourself first - guilt free. Here are a few ways to get you started, today...
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to meditate for hours to feel the benefits. Just a few minutes can make a world of difference. I started with 2 minutes a day and built up from there - and we can all find 2 minutes, can’t we? The best part is that it can be done anywhere and easily fits into your day.
If you’re new to meditation then start by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. Focus as your breath naturally moves in and out of your body and when thoughts appear, as they will, simply let them pass by like clouds without engaging with them.
The truth is…
That it can take some practice but i can promise you that it’s worth it. Before long you’ll be looking forward to those peaceful few minutes spent on yourself - without any guilt at all.
You can also enhance your quiet moments with aromatherapy. Use our Serenity Pulse Point Oil on your wrists and breathe in the naturally calming oils while you pause. And, in the evenings, relax as you enjoy the tranquil oils from our Peace Meditation Candle filling your home.
Don’t wait to feel happy, do something that creates those feel good emotions. Make a list of the things that make you feel great. And, pick one that you could do easily every day. For me, that’s a yoga class every morning, a fresh fruit smoothie and extra cuddles with my dog. But for you, it could be enjoying a walk after work, creating a meal with fresh ingredients that you’ve never used before or simply relaxing in a comfy chair with your latest book.
It sounds mysterious but at its core, mindfulness is really all about learning to live in the present moment. Why is that important? Because we can all spend a lot of time ruminating over the past and worrying about things that might happen in the future - basically things that we can do little to change. Learning to keep our attention planted in the present moment helps us see the soak up the little things around us - and when it comes down to it, aren’t they the ones that really matter?
Enjoy a Bath
I know! It sounds so simple but I think that when you’re non stop busy an uninterrupted soak in the bath can help to solve a whole host of problems. Make the most of it though, break open your favourite bath soak (I can recommend this one) light an aromatherapy natural candle and even grab a book before settling in for as long as you need.
Try doing nothing
If you’re forever on the move, then this is a great one to try because it can be done anywhere.
Sometimes, I can still struggle with this:
I used to wear my multi-tasking badge of honour with pride and so the thought of doing nothing used to sound terrifying! But over the years, I’ve gotten more comfortable with simply enjoying time without purpose. The truth is that I learnt the most about this from watching my dog - she’s so happy just to be and she reminds me to do the same. Don’t worry if this doesn’t come easily to you at first and you hear that voice telling you that you should be doing something else. It takes time to change your mindset. But, be patient with yourself and learn to let go of the need to always be busy.
So, How can you put yourself first this week?
Once you’ve reframed how you see time for yourself, it gets easier to pause throughout your day. It might sound like a stretch right now, but I promise that it gets easier. The key is to be consistent and even if all you can manage is two minutes for yourself then start there just like I did.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.