What Have You Done For YOU Lately?

May 24, 2010

Women tend to put themselves last.

Not all women, of course.  There are some of us who have managed to “evolve” more than others.

But overall, I’d say most women are still inclined to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own.  Perhaps this is an inborn trait, buried somewhere deep within the female chromosomes.  Throughout history we have been mothers, caretakers, nurses and wives.

I’ve touched on this topic before in my post about stress.  (See “Ten Pounds and a Toothache”)

Once we become wives and mothers, it seems we’re on duty 24/7 until our minds and bodies can’t go anymore!

Our day often starts before dawn and doesn’t end until after midnight.  Even then, we go to bed with that sinking feeling we’ve forgotten to take care of something.

Might I suggest the something we’re forgetting is ourselves?

Oh sure, we manage to eat (albeit most often in haste), get dressed (sometimes our clothing actually matches!), and bathe (even if we do have to do it with an audience of little eyes either staring at us, or a chorus of voices chanting, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” from outside the bathroom door)

Many of us (me included) are well beyond the “little eyes” and “chorus of voices” stage of the game.  Instead, we’ve moved on into the “What I can do for you even if you’re a total stranger” phase of life, where we’ve transferred our inherent need to nurture living, breathing things over to those whom we didn’t actually give birth to.

I’m not knocking this sort of generosity, so please don’t read it that way.  One of the exercises I give the women in my online coaching group is to spend a few days deliberately practicing the “Golden Rule”, or “paying it forward”.

It’s no secret; I feel it’s my God-given purpose to help other women, to give encouragement, even when I myself could use a little help in that area.

By all means, if you’ve been called to help others, don’t abandon the cause!

I just want to challenge you to consider the possibility that you are worth some time and extra effort too!

If you are one of “those” women who are constantly giving, giving, giving … I’m asking you to STOP, for just one moment.

Yes, STOP, and do something for yourself!  Choose something nice, something no one else in your life may even know you’d enjoy.

This may be more difficult than you’d first imagine.  Sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve done anything relatively “selfish” or that we’d personally enjoy even though the rest of the family might prefer something else, we don’t even know what our own preferences are anymore!

Give it some thought.  Right here and now, ask yourself this question:

“What would I really like to do for me?”

When you’ve come up with an answer, make an appointment to actually do it!  Set aside a date and a time on your calendar and prioritize it in your mind, just like a Dr’s appointment or other obligation that can’t be put off.

Make this a habit. At least once a week, (ok … certainly no less often than once a month,) do something special just for you.  Buy a new candle.  Go to the department store and get a makeover. Purchase a magazine and indulge yourself.  Take a long uninterrupted bubble bath! Fix your favorite meal for dinner. No apologies necessary!

See, I’m not talking about anything huge, although if you have the means to do something on a grander scale, by all means do it!

Enjoy every last minute of it. Not only do you deserve it, but you’ll be a much happier person for having taken the time to take care of you!

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