Now that you’re married (and maybe even have children/step-children in the mix) you are faced with the responsibility of taking care of someone else in your life. While this may be true, the ultimate truth is, “The best way to take care of those you care about is to take care of YOURSELF.” It may sound selfish, but it really isn’t if you think about it. No one benefits from a spouse or parent who is always tired, stressed out, or ill. So let me offer you some of the best ways to make sure you are getting what you need in life to ensure that others will get what they need out of you:
Sleep: You’ve been told this all your life and I’m going to tell you again. Your body needs adequate sleep in order to function, so be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you notice that you are really tired in the morning, try going to bed at least 15 minutes earlier to see if this helps you feel more rested.
Me Time: Be sure to set at least 15-30 minutes (or more) aside each day for yourself. You could read a book, watch your favorite show, sit on your patio and watch the sunset or take a walk…anything that you want to do during that time is for YOU.
Smile & Be Grateful: Try your hardest to smile and think of what you’re grateful for each and every day. Smiling takes less muscles than frowning and makes other people smile too, so just do it! Thinking of your life and everyone/everything in it that you’re grateful for will make you smile anyway.
Simplify Your Life: There’s nothing wrong with making a To-Do List, but recognize the things that don’t really ‘have to’ get done that day. Running around day-in-and-day-out like a crazy person will only drag you down and make you feel exhausted. Remember, your spouse/family will love you just as much if your dinners aren’t always made from scratch or your gifts aren’t always handmade by you. If you have kids in the mix…organizing a carpool to soccer practice so you can alternate days will go a long way!
Learn to when to Say ‘No’ & when to Say ‘Yes’: If you’re traveling every weekend out-of-town for business, or to visit family or college friends you have to realize that turning people down once in a while is exactly what you NEED to do. Obviously, you can’t turn down your boss (in most cases) so unfortunately; your family and friends will need to understand when you need a weekend to relax alone. By saying “no” to another happy hour, bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party you are saying “yes” to yourself. You can still show your thoughts by sending a gift when appropriate, but when your body is telling you to slow down, do it.
Exercise/Eat right: You’re not a teenager anymore, so stop eating like one! You only get one body, so think about how the decisions you make will affect your health. It’s impossible to take care of a spouse or child if you are ill, so remember that the next time you opt out of fruits, vegetables and multi-vitamins!
Tell us what you do to put yourself FIRST. We love to be inspired by our readers, so leave your thoughts and ideas by commenting below!