The Number One Way to Put Yourself on Your To-Do List
24 Sep 2015

The Number One Way to Put Yourself on Your To-Do List

OK ladies, pull out your to-do list for the coming week.

Take a quick look. Are YOU on it? 

And if time for you IS on the list, where is it? Top? Bottom?

If you found yourself at the bottom (or in the “not-at-all” category), read on. If you’re at the top of your list…good for you. Stop back by another day.

So, what IS self-care? 

When we talk about self-care, images of spa days and mani-/pedi outings come to mind, right? And while these touches are lovely, it’s so much more than that. It’s a mindset.

Self-care doesn’t mean neglecting everyone else in your life. It has nothing to do with being selfish and is as essential to life as breathing.

It involves whatever it takes to make you feel energized, happy, balanced and at ease in this world. For me, that means getting a really good night’s sleep, eating well, getting a monthly massage and taking at least 10 minutes every day to just be still and let the committee in my head take a break.

It also means thinking positive thoughts and talking kindly to myself.  When my inner critic shows up (I call her Miranda), I gently tell her she has the rest of the day off.

There are challenges to creating an ideal self-care routine. The most obvious one is time. When you’re working full time and juggling home, kids and work, things get a little more challenging! But there are ways to creatively keep space for yourself.

Scheduling the time is the number one way to make sure there’s something left in your day just for you.

Another less obvious barrier is the guilt that creeps in the moment you decide to start doing something for yourself. Miranda marches into the room with her hands on her hips screaming “that’s selfish!”

But here’s the truth. 

It’s more selfish to NOT care for yourself. If you do not feed yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, you will starve to death in one of these ways. It’s that simple. Lack of self-care causes a great deal of stress which can lead to chronic illnesses, depression and burnout.

If your job involves caring for others, how can you perform at your best if you have nothing left to give? How can you be a fully present, engaged parent or partner when your inner well is empty? I am sure most of us have felt that feeling of emptiness in mind, body or spirit.

So, if you’re thinking, “Great, one more thing to feel guilty about NOT doing”, please let it go.

The point of this is not to add to your overwhelm. The point is to start creating a life you love instead of reacting to the “crisis of the moment” or saying yes to something that is meaningless for you. It doesn’t take huge amounts of time or money to get started. If all you do is allow yourself 10 minutes a day for some quiet time alone or say no to something you really don’t want to do, then you are caring for yourself.

What fills your well? Think of all the things that bring you balance and joy. Write them down. Give yourself permission to take a baby step by doing one of these things in the coming week.

So, pull out your list again.

Write your name in PEN at the top.

And if Miranda stops by, show her the door.

~~~

About Dr. Anna

Dr. Anna Garrett is a pharmacist and menopause expert who helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. But her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim pieces of themselves they thought were gone forever.

Dr. Anna offers a complimentary 30-minute Get Acquainted Call to anyone who’d like to learn more about working 1-1 with her. You can schedule that at your convenience by clicking here

Please contact her at dranna@drannagarrett.com.


Dr. Anna Garrett

Comments

  1. Hello Dr. Anna,
    I do something that involves caring for others. But I never thought this.
    It seems that I’ll have to re-write my to-do-list. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Love!
    Thomas

  2. What a great article, Anna! More than ever in these hectic times, we need to stop and make sure we’re OK. I love the idea of naming your inner critic, too! Mine’s probably named “Barb”.

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