Do you need to do some house-cleaning?
No, not dusting, vacuuming or cleaning the toilets, though those can be helpful for more than just impressing your guests.
Or your mother-in-law.
I’m talking about “cleaning house” on all levels, not just the physical: mental, emotional, spiritual.
Here are ten indications that it might be time to put your focus on YOU, and make yourself your highest priority.
1. You feel unappreciated or undervalued.
This can be at the workplace by your boss and/or coworkers, at home by y our family, or even in your social relationships with friends who take more than they give.
2. You put others’ needs ahead of your own.
Any moms want to field this one? Who always comes last when scheduling priorities are discussed? Not that it’s unique to moms….
3. Your schedule doesn’t reflect your priorities.
Does a little “me time” ever make it onto the “to-do” list? How about your online calendar? Is “relaxing bath with a magazine and some lavender essential oil” on there? Probably not.
4. Your “to-do” list grows faster than kudzu or a feral cat colony.
I think most of us add more to our lists of daily (weekly, monthly…) tasks than we ever cross off….
5. You can’t relax or slow things down.
So many of us have so many commitments, and we’re wired in such a way that we never want to let anyone down. We have work responsibilities (sometimes more than we can reasonably handle). We want to be there for our families. Our friends need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or some “retail therapy” (with a buddy to lessen the guilt). It seems as though there’s never enough time to fulfill all of these needs, let alone just…stop.
6. You don’t have a support network.
You’re surrounded by others who are constantly on the go, and they’re going to make you feel guilty or somehow “less than” if you can’t keep up. There’s no one close to whom you can say “I just need some quiet time” without getting a funny look or a guilt trip.
7. You think it’s selfish.
(See #6) You’re getting messages from everyone around you – family, friends, the workplace, maybe even church – that “putting yourself first” is selfish. And after a lifetime of this type of programming, you believe it with every fiber of your being.
8. You lack compassion for yourself.
Regardless of how much compassion you have for those around you, you don’t spare any for you. Think about how you berate yourself when you do something “bad,” or make a “mistake” – when you aren’t perfect on your diet or feel stupid during a meeting. Would you talk to a friend the same way? Would you stay friends with someone else who talked to you that way? Of course not. But that’s how our internal dialogues frequently sound.
9. You feel as though you have to do everything.
You can’t delegate, you can’t let go – if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. Or maybe no one else can live up to your perfectionist standards. “If I don’t do this, it won’t be done right.” How many times have we all said that to ourselves….
10. Spirituality isn’t a priority.
And no, I don’t mean sitting in church every Sunday. (Although if that’s how you prefer to practice your spirituality, then by all means do so.) This can be meditation, yoga, prayer – even reading spiritual, uplifting texts. It can mean communing with Nature. It’s going to be different for everyone, but you’ll know – or discover – what it means for you.
So remember: You are just as important as everyone else. When you can say “No” to things that don’t serve you – with no guilt or sense of obligation – you can take better care of your number one priority: your own personal well-being. This, in turn, will give you more energy for others. (Not to mention less stress and fewer negative emotions.) Your positive energy will increase, and your life will improve.
The beneficial effects will ripple out to your family, your community, the environment around you – the world at large.
So stop fearing others’ judgments. Turn off that internal negative chatter.
Start living with more authenticity.
It’s not selfish. It doesn’t have to take up all of your time.
And it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing or “perfect.”
It just needs to be you, living your Truth. This isn’t about “reality” – it’s about your authentic self. And you can only discover that through some radical self-care….
About the author: Diane Letchworth is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach, Certified Gluten Practitioner and Reiki Master/Teacher. She is currently studying Nutritional Endocrinology and Aromatherapy. She resides in the mountains of North Carolina, where she works to help people take charge of their health and improve their lives.
Author of “10 Signs You Need Radical Self Care”