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Wellness, balance, healing…..all popular buzz words that sound enticing and are easy get started with the latest craze, but how do we really achieve amidst the reality of our fast-paced world? Here we’ll bring you insight into how find wellbeing and peace for body, mind, and spirit.

Giving Yourself Permission to Be #1

February 28, 2018

There are many times when you are the center of everything. YOU have to make the appointments. YOU need to drop off the supplies for the event. YOU need to help the kids with their homework.

And then there are times when you decide that you need to be involved. You help without being asked. You decide you’re going to take over someone’s to-do list. You give away your time (and energy) because it feels like the right thing to do. These are the moments when you could make a different choice. Instead of automatically giving yourself away, you can put your needs first.

Your self-care routine reflects your priorities. When you prioritize everyone else (and their needs) before your own, it’s inevitable that self-care will become extinct. While no one will deny that helping others and contributing to your community is important, there is a very real risk of burnout if you put yourself too far down on your own to-do list.

So how do we make ourselves a priority? Unfortunately, many of us have neglected our needs and wants for so long, that we don’t even know what they might be! The first step, therefore, is to figure out what you would enjoy doing.

Here’s a quick quiz to “remember” what you like to do with during your “Me Time”:

When you were in elementary/middle school, what did you do for fun when you were by yourself?

Now that you’re an adult, what are your favorite things to do with one friend? A group of friends?

If you were forced to pack a bag for a weekend alone in a hotel, what would you pack? *Imagine no internet or TV, but a generous budget for supplies.

If you could sign-up for a class or ongoing course, and time and money were no object, what would you be interested in learning?  (Not sure? Go online and see what’s available through your local Parks & Rec, Community Center, Library, and here at TSP in Takoma Park we are starting a workshop schedule soon.

Did anything surprise you about your answers? Are their activities like reading, walking, drawing, playing with your pet, or putting together a puzzle that you could easily add to your day right now?

When you give yourself permission to be #1, you are demonstrating for others what it means to be in balance.

If you’re still doubting that small blocks of time to yourself can make a difference, let’s expand the scope. Beyond your own wellbeing, you can positively impact the lives of others when you take time to yourself.  You are already a role model to many people; work colleagues, family, friends, and community members. They all see how you navigate the world and they are influenced by your choices. When you give all of your time and energy away, it sends a message to everyone you interact with that selflessness is a value you embody. If you create time for personal enjoyment and plan for activities that inspire and refuel you, they see that as well.

Your lifestyle is an ongoing example to others. People around you will notice if you are burnt out or fired up; exhausted or exhilarated. Folks are naturally curious about the classes you take, the leisurely walks you go on, and the fun activities you infuse in your week. It’s not a stretch to see how making yourself a priority can help others. When those around you see your example, and learn that personal time is not a luxury, they will be more apt to try it themselves. You have the opportunity to demonstrate how to live a joyful, balanced life. Everyone, yourself included, will benefit when you embrace conscious living.

Your homework: Continue to schedule time for things that light you up and celebrate when others do, too!

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