If you are anything like me, then you have experienced times in life where the days blend together in a dull fog of monotony. It’s that feeling of not being where you want to be and also not really having the time, energy or money to do anything about it. It could also be due to you feeling zonked after spending all day working that the mere thought of doing anything else exhausts you.
Regardless, that optimistic little voice is there in your mind: the one that says to go for that dance lesson, or to pick up that book on Feng Sui, or send in your resumé for that job interview. The worst part is that the more you don’t listen to it, the louder it seems to get!
So what can you do about it? How can you improve your life if time is an issue, money isn’t exactly abundant, and weariness abounds in your daily affairs?
One Thing That Can Improve Your Life
Taking a lesson from lovely stewards and stewardesses on airlines, they always give a demonstration before the plane takes off…the one where they tell you how to tighten your seatbelt, where the life preserver is kept and where the exits are on the plane. During this presentation, they also talk about what to do should the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, and they always say the same thing: if you have children or people you are looking after, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping anyone else out.
The concept is so easy: take care of yourself first so you can better take care of others. Personally, I am not a pleasant person to be around when I haven’t had enough sleep, if I haven’t had some quiet time to myself or if I haven’t eaten. Usually, the people closest to me are the ones who really suffer the consequences. But change that around and behold a happier more pleasant person to be around! After all, I have taken care of myself, I have met my own needs and can now be more present and tend to the needs of others. It sounds logical, but how many of us actually do that on a day-to-day basis?
I have heard some people call this being “selfish.” It is selfish of you to put your own needs in front of your children’s or It is selfish to take a few hours for yourself when you have so many chores to do. In my opinion, there is a big difference between being selfish or self-loving. If I love myself enough to take care of my needs, people around me benefit from it. I can be present and focused on my work, with my child, with my friends and family because I am in tip-top shape. I am less emotional and irritable, and can practice more patience with those nearest and dearest to me.
Being selfish, however, is a VERY different energy. Being selfish has more to do with screwing other people over in order to get what you want. It sounds logical, but how many of us actually practice self-love on a day-to-day basis?
How Do You Put Yourself First? How Do You Practice Self-Love?
One of the things that helped me and my coaching clients tremendously is to ask yourself questions throughout the day. Not only is it easy to do, but you don’t even have to think about it! You can download one of many apps from the google play store onto your phone (such as LifeReminders), key in questions that prompt more self-care and self-love, and then forget about it! Every now and then your phone will alert you to a question you put in. Your only job would be to answer the question by taking action!
Some examples of questions I have personally used are:
- What do I need right now?
- What can I do to take care of myself right now?
- How can I be more present to what is unfolding right now?
- How can I love myself more in this moment?
- Are all my needs met (if no, then meet your needs)?
After reading these questions, an answer usually pops up in your head such as, “Drink more water,” or “take a nap,” or “go to the gym.” Whatever the answer is, the key is to DO IT as soon as it is feasible. I know just one more episode of your favorite series in the evening might sound more appealing than going to bed early, but the most appealing thing is to take care of yourself! There are many benefits to practicing self-love on a daily basis. First hand I can say that it has drastically improved my own life experience in almost every possible way.
- Your personal and professional relationships benefit in the long-term;
- Your physical body benefits (because you aren’t so tired or stressed all the time);
- Your work performance increases;
- People around you get to experience you in a more positive light;
- Some people have even found that it has put the spark back in their marriage;
- Your emotional well-being increases, leaving you more cool, calm and collected in otherwise stressful situations;
- Fun and peace start to be the dominant emotions you feel throughout the days.
In summary, one thing you can do to improve your life is to practice self-love daily. If you think about it, the only things you have to lose are stress, exhaustion, apathy and unhappiness. Additionally, your loved ones benefit because they have the pleasure of being around a happier more stress-free you!
Wishing you all the best from Springfield, Missouri!
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