As my Fall semester comes to a close, it seems that I keep having “one of those weeks.” Well, it only takes 4 of those weeks to become “one of those months;” and 12 of those months to become “one of those years.” Those off times where, as happy and creative we seem to be, you know that you aren’t being 100% kind to yourself.
It’s the days where I convince myself that I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Or the days when 10 hours between meals is “just what happens when you’re a busy person.” Wrong. Ignoring your needs isn’t a trademark of the busy bee, it’s a sign that you aren’t prioritizing. You should always be taken care of at the end of the day. If you aren’t good to yourself, no one else will be good to you – and you won’t be good for anyone.
My favorite days are the days when I really listen to myself – my mind, body, and spirit. The days when I take a later shift at work just to enjoy laying in the warmth of my bed for an extra hour. The days when I decide that’s it’s okay not to be an assignment ahead in a class and meet up with a friend for coffee. Or the days when I just sit at my desk, read a book and call my dad to talk about life.
Taking the time to sit back and actually practice your passions is guaranteed to make you a happier person. For me, it’s the days that I can wear comfy clothes, snuggle in bed or at my desk and write. Writing is an escape for me – it always has been. When my journals start collecting dust, I know I’m not being as good to myself as I should be.
When you aren’t being good to yourself and listening to your needs, you give place for your fears to creep up on you. Life keeps happening all around you, and there doesn’t seem to be room for all of your hopes, dreams and goals.
Signs that you aren’t listening to your needs…
– The things you enjoy doing most, and that make you feel best, are constantly put on the back burner.
– Friends and family complain about never seeing or hearing from you.
– Your excuse is always that “you’re busy,” when really you are overwhelmed.
– You physically cannot take a day off.
– Even when you try to sleep, your brain keeps scrolling through the list of things you have to do.
– You don’t feel that you’re in control of your emotions.
– All of your obligations are really just things that others want you to do (or that you think they want you to do.)
– You’re constantly hungry, but never sit down to eat a fully satisfying meal.
– Every day, you cannot wait for the day to be over.
No one knows what you need more than you do. It is important to be real and upfront with yourself; really take the time to evaluate if the things you do everyday make you happy and bring you joy. Cut the fat where needed, practice good wellness daily as a start. Put yourself first often; you are worth that!
Being good to myself means not setting an alarm on the weekends and letting my body rest naturally. It means making time during the week to prepare meals for myself that give me energy and sustain me. It means putting my goals, passions, wants and needs first, and not feeling guilty for it. Setting a bed time and sticking to it, coming home at reasonable hours, staying away from negative people and situations are all ways that I take care of myself.
Lisa of Love to Go wrote a great post a while back about being gentle with yourself that has really been resonating with me. When you are good to yourself, you allow yourself to feel joy, gratitude and thankfulness. It changes your attitudes and perspectives and opens you up to things you may have never realized or seen before. It’s beautiful.
How are you gentle and good to yourself? Are you listening to your needs, you ignoring the things you desperately have to take care of?