Taking Care of YOU

It is easy to discount the importance of making time for you with the daily grind, or to become blinded by the perception that it is selfish.  In fact, we are so caught up in the to-do’s and unrealistic pressures from society to do it all, that it is easy to lose sight of taking care or ourselves.

Prior to having kids, I could just get up and go.  I could just head to the gym at the drop of a hat, or throw on my gear for a run around the lake.  To be completely honest, I am more active now than I was then because I have realized the benefits of making time for me.

I decided not to make [my kids] my excuse, but my reason.

Taking time for myself did not happen overnight.  It was a process of challenging the internal thought that making time for yourself is not selfish.  It also took finding something that would allow me to be active regularly without taking time away from Benjamin and Madyn.

We often walk around the lake or local trails together.  Otherwise, I get up early to get a workout in before they wake, or sneak one in once they have gone to bed.  Since deciding to make physical activity a priority more than two years ago, I have been pretty consistent to my commitment and feel well-balanced.

For students, professionals, or parents, the struggle is real.  It is easy to neglect self-care.  We think that it is valiant to make everything and everyone else more important than ourselves.

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

People who take care of themselves take better care of others.  If we desire to be a better partner, parent, sibling, friend, or professional, it is imperative that we decide what we can say no to, or reprioritize our agendas so that self-care makes it onto that list.

Schedule yourself into your calendar and consider making your “you time” about being active.  There are so many benefits from regular activity that extend beyond the physical.  How about aspiring to have a body that functions optimally?  Regular physical activity is known to reduce stress, lead to better sleep, give you extra energy, increase cognitive functioning, increase mental alertness and clarity, increase ones feeling of self-worth, increase your endorphins and serotonin levels to make you feel good, build confidence, lead to improved fitness among other positive effects.  The list is endless!

5 Tips for Making Time for Yourself

1. Think about “your time” as a prerequisite to being your best version for others. Your mental and physical wellness are essential for helping everyone around you succeed. Do it for them and do it for yourself!
2. If you are not scheduling it in, make “you” time early in the day. It is easy to justify not going to the gym or not taking time for yourself when your day gets away from you. To stay accountable to yourself, make your time in the morning before anything else. BONUS: This will also give you the energy to power through work, tasks, errands, and everything else you need to accomplish that day.
3. Make it a habit. Before long, “you time” will become part of your essential routine just like brushing your teeth!
4. Find something you enjoy. Whether it is taking your dog for a walk, baking a cake (followed by a walk?), or a gym class with a great instructor, find something that truly makes you happy. What could be better than doing that everyday?!
5. Involve your family. This will not only give you company and keep you accountable, but it is more fun to have a partner or two!
6. Repeat! Everyday for maximum benefit.

The next time you crash on the couch – tv remote in hand – because you feel burnt out, exhausted, or just over the stress of everyday life, consider going for a casual walk.  Get some fresh air into your lungs and get your blood pumping!  If you make this a habit, you will quickly feel the effects and find that you have the energy to spend that time at the gym or being a little more rigorous with your exercise.  The most important part is getting up and moving! Eventually it will get easier and you will have renewed energy to run out the door.

We want to know how you make time for yourself. Do you have any tips or tricks for CleanWorkout.com readers? Share your journeys with us by email at Deanna (at) CleanWorkout.com

Written by CleanWorkout.com contributing writer, Ashley Massey.