Do you find yourself worn out, tired, irritable, resentful and even exhausted at the constant demand on your energy, time, money, compassion, attention or the demand on yourself?

As one of the busiest times of the year rolls around the demands on your time ramp up, self-care is one of the first things to go.

Well you are NOT alone in feeling this way. This is how many people are living their lives these days.

You may think you are doing the right thing by your boss, spouse, family, children, friends and even yourself.  However, depleting yourself to give to everyone around you, is not the way to experience life.  We need to focus our energies on filling ourselves up, from the inside.

If you don’t take care of yourself sooner or later you won’t be much good to yourself or anyone else!  If you don’t fill up yourself first, you will run dry and won’t have anything left to give those who need and rely on you.

For many women, and some men too, you feel like putting yourself first is too selfish and feel guilty spending time on yourself. You often compromise your commitments to yourself before you would ever let someone else down. But why are you less important than everyone else? Why do they deserve sleep, relaxation, social time and fun and you don’t?  An interesting question to ask yourself!

Self-care is imperative these days if we want to be mentally fit and cope with the day’s demands.  You cannot pour from an empty cup!  It’s a great saying and so true.  Self Care is exactly what the word says. It is caring for oneself. In today’s day and age, our lives are so busy, and we are expected to do so much in a short period of time, that often we don’t even consider taking a moment to ourselves to recharge and fill ourselves up.

I like to think about self-care, as nourishment of my body, mind, and soul. Nourish all three; your body, mind, and soul every day, and you will see the difference in no time.

The first step toward more self-care is a mindset shift. Instead of thinking of putting yourself first as selfish, what if you thought about it as being essential so you can be the pillar for those around you and give more.  Giving yourself the oxygen mask first so you have the reserves, the energy, to care for and serve those around you.

You may be denying yourself these basic needs or not giving yourself permission. The roots for this behaviour can run deep and extend back to your self-esteem, values, the way you were raised, cultural norms, family history and maybe some myths, irrational thinking and beliefs.  The important thing is YOU are worth it!

Start by identifying the things you love to do. What would a perfect day look like? Instead of focusing on the limitations and restrictions of time and money, focus on what is possible? And with this this new mindset shift toward self-full versus selfish, you’ll be able to take better care of yourself and give yourself permission to put yourself first.

Everyday take a few minutes at least for yourself. I’m well aware that it’s not always an easy task to find the time in your day to fill yourself up. One strategy I use during my busiest weeks, is to actually schedule me-time in my diary – time specifically allocated.  It could be a one minute deep breathing session every hour during my workday or a one hour exercise class, coffee with a friend or simply taking extra 10 minutes to walk around the block. We all have different schedules and different demands on our time so you need to find times that work for you.  Just make the time! And relish your self care time!