Maya is a mom with two small children and works 40 hours a week at a job she does not love. She gives time and energy to her children and to her job but feels in a constant state of stress. Her life is controlled by a to-do list and she has no time for herself. Some days she feels her authentic self disappearing as she tries to keep up with the needs of her family. Deep down she knows there is more to life than the way she lives now but she doesn’t know how to rejuvenate her life.
Have you ever felt like the woman in this story?
As a mom, do you ever feel as if your authentic sense of self is being smothered by people and things that demand your time, attention, and energy?
As moms, we are givers. We give time to our children. We give energy to organizing the family schedule and household chores. We give attention to those who are sick or who are in need. We give advice such as wash your hands and eat your veges. We give hope to those who need it most. And as if that was not enough giving, we also happen to give birth to life. As authentic mamas, we are givers.
I’m here to tell you that it’s time to give to the most important person in your life – YOU! If you are not putting yourself first, all of the giving you do will eventual leave you empty and exhausted.
Today I give you permission to put yourself first.
1. Take Time for Silent Relaxation. Even 5 minutes a day of meditation is enough time to feel the benefits within your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Putting yourself first means connecting with your sense of self awareness.
2. Take Action Towards Your Dreams. When I started CreateaBalance.com back in February 2008, I realized I was living my dream simply by taking actions towards my dreams. Once you have determined what your dreams and goals are, incorporate baby action steps towards achieving these dreams. SARK recommends using micromovements to reach your goals, which means every action step is only 5 minutes or less. She figures everyone can manage almost anything for 5 minutes.
3. Connect with Like-Minded Women. Busy routine-filled lives can give us a sense of being isolated from others. To live fully and authentically, it is essential to find time to connect with people you enjoy. If you can’t remember the last time you spent time with friends (without your children) then it is time to put yourself first and schedule a fun day or night out with a friend! Connecting with online friends is a great way to get a quick friendship fix. Embrace the power of relationships and have fun connecting with others.
4. Get Moving. I don’t care if you are training for a marathon, using the farthest parking space from the mall, or taking a sun-lit walk around the block. You are putting yourself first every time you choose to move your body towards the goal of being physically fit. Creatively incorporate some sort of movement into what you already love to do.
5. Feed Your Body Love. I recognize there are many opportunities to make poor choices when it comes to diet and nutrition. Goodness knows almost every restaurant in my town loads piles of french fries onto my sons’ plates. I hate having to resist those fries all through my meal. I do resist them, however, because I am putting myself first and making an active choice to eat healthy. I am not 100% successful, but if I choose to eat unhealthy food it is usually a result of putting myself last.
6. Do What You Love. List twenty things you love doing. Then think about the last time you put yourself first and found time to do these things. Can you find a few things on your list that you can do this week?
7. Honor Your Time. In the Artist’s way, Julia Cameron suggests reflecting on the major activities of your week. Once you create a list of your major activities, think about how much time you gave to each one? Which were what you wanted to do and which were “shoulds”? How much of your time is spent helping others and ignoring your own desires?
If you could take one micromovement towards putting yourself first today, what would you do?
Stacey Hoffer Weckstein is a life coach, change management consultant, presenter, trainer, and a global advocate for finding “me” time and putting yourself first. She brings over 14 years of experience in the field of adult learning and human development and helps thousands of people think about and practice the art of life balance.
Stacey’s coaching style and her blog, CreateaBalance.com encourage you to embrace your authentic sense of self, to live with intention, to practice putting yourself first, to hold yourself accountable, and to take action towards living your best life.
When Stacey became a working mom back in 2003, she knew she had to balance the needs of her inner authentic self with the needs of all of the other things that demanded her time, attention, and energy. This process of practicing the art of life balance was one of the most powerful and liberating experiences of her life.
She is now committed to helping other people balance their essential “me” time with everything else that demands their time, attention, and energy.
She has worked with entrepreneurs, large corporations, non-profit organizations, health care systems, academic institutions, and government agencies. She holds a Masters degree in Human Resource Development from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree, with honors, from Michigan State University.
I am honored that Stacey provided this awesome post for authentic mama. Be sure and visit her awesome website Create a Balance today!
Tags: article, Authentic, authentic self, authentically, blog, body, children, create, creative, diet and nutrition, dreams, experiences, family, flick, food, learning, life, mama, mom, practice, process, rain, relationship, spirit, stress, sun