I admit that while I often instruct my coaching clients to take care of themselves, I don’t always follow my own advice. But I recently had to do just that.
Last fall, I decided to get certified in resume writing. Although I’ve worked in HR for most of my career, I wanted to make sure I did the best for my clients. How tough could it be? Well, very very tough! I had no idea how challenging this program would be. Lots of new skills and intense concentration.
I tried to continue my regular schedule while trying (key word) to complete all my homework assignments. I realized how my stress level was quickly rising to new heights. When I make a commitment, I keep it. But it was my resume assignments that were being put on the back burner.
Eventually I decided to look at where I spend my time and cut back. I gave up some church meetings and groups, I stopped going to some optional business networking events, and yes, I even stopped blogging.
The interesting thing is that the world didn’t stop spinning. My church choir continued fine without me (maybe better)! The good news is I got my certification and am now able to once again readjust my calendar.
What I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to do something that disappoints people. Be selective as to how you spend your time. Pay attention to when you find yourself getting angry or resentful–perhaps it’s time to cut back and figure out what you really want or really can do. From now on, I will be more cautious about how many commitments I take on. A good lesson for everyone.
So, if you have missed my blogs, I’m back and ready to go!!
I had always been amazed how compassionate I am to other people, yet when it comes to me–I can be very brutal. Now being a life coach, I help my clients recognize this tendency in themselves.
One of my clients remarked how selfish she was and wondered what she should do to change that. After questioning her a little more–she was simply taking care of her needs. She didn’t neglect her spouse, her children or her friends. But when she decided to join an activity or go to lunch with her friends, she defined that as being very selfish.
Women in particular, become victims of this type of cultural conditioning. It starts when we are very young and we are reminded that good girls think of others before ourselves. This continues to be reinforced and it quickly becomes ingrained in us.
Check in with your heart before agreeing to something–is a great first step in self care. It doesn’t mean that you always do what you want to do–but that you are in touch with what you want to do. Take a little time each day to do something that is fun or enjoyable for you.
When a plane takes off and you hear the attendant’s instructions that if you need oxygen–you need to take care of yourself first, and then you tend to your child. The same goes true for self-care. If you neglect yourself, you soon lose the oxygen and energy to take care of anyone else. Children learn by watching how you treat yourself–not on what you say to do. Become your own best friend.
Do you find it difficult to take care of yourself? What can you do to bring more joy into your life?