Why is making time for yourself the least selfish thing you can do?

Why is making time for yourself the least selfish thing you can do?

September 03, 2018

We are very excited to have Ramone Bisset join our blogging team. Ramone's passion for life is infectious and as a certified yoga teacher with over 20 years experience, she has a wealth of knowledge behind her.  Below Ramone offers some valuable advice on self-care, managing those feelings of guilt that come with living a complex and multifaceted life, and how to prioritise you!

 As women we wear a lot of hats… Athlete, Daughter, Friend, Community Member, maybe Sister, possibly Mother, sometimes Girlfriend/Partner/Wife – and that’s before you even add what your ‘day-job’ title might be. Some of these will be with us forever, some will change and evolve over the course of our lives.

 In each of the roles we play in our lives we take on a particular persona and each comes with it’s own responsibilities and commitment of time and energy to really show up and do it at the highest level we want to. With all of these competing pressures – how and where do you make time for just being YOU?!

And more importantly, how do you balance being you with staying present to these other important parts of your life that help you be the person that you really want to be? 

Obviously in our modern, fast-paced lives, time is one of our most scarce and precious commodities. When we are pulled in so many different directions through our various life roles and responsibilities how can we prioritise what’s most important without feeling that other often-present feeling that comes with the XX gene – guilt – rearing it’s not so pretty head?!

Whether or not you were raised in a family that called out solo time as ‘selfish’, or were shamed for shirking ‘traditional’ responsibilities that didn’t really resonate with you, as women growing up in the modern western world we’ve all been exposed to significant cultural programming via the media about what and how to be the best version of ourselves.

A familiar story goes: be beautiful (within a narrow range of in-fashion current standards), be smart (but not so smart that you are threatening), be ‘nice’ (because no one likes an angry woman and of paramount importance is to be ‘liked’), be ‘fit’ (but don’t get big muscles because that’s unbecoming for a lady), be polite (no one likes a woman with too strong of an opinion), pursue a career (but nothing too unconventional or traditionally ‘masculine’), find a man (which involves being desirable - see points 1-5 above), settle down (it’s so sad she’s still single even though she’s smart and pretty… well maybe men find her intimidating? Poor girl.), start a family (but make sure you lose the ‘baby weight’), go back to work (but not too soon because OMG how could she leave her BABY? And not too full-time because why did she even HAVE children if she doesn’t want to spend time with them?), be a good parent (whatever that means), be an active part of your community, stay happily married ever after, take care of your parents as they’re aging… but DON’T under any circumstances show your own signs of ageing, weight gain or cracking under the INSANE pressure to live up to all of these (spoken or unspoken) expectations! And finally don’t forget to blog or document your ‘journey’ on social media, obviously.

Unfortunately we all probably suffer to some small or large extent with internal guilt about being able to say no and set boundaries around our societal roles and responsibilities. We always want to do our best. In all of this the most important thing to remember is that you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first! If you burn out you can’t do your job, look after your family, maintain optimal health and most importantly have any fun! 

So, how do you put a stop to the madness and regain some sanity and time for self-care?

I’ve written a lot on ‘self-care’ and these are some of my top tips for clawing back your own time from the chaos, expectations and self-inflicted (or other-inflicted!) guilt of living a complex and multifaceted life and instead prioritise YOU:

  1. Goals and values baby. Knowing what you stand for, what is most important to you and what trajectory you want your life to take are THE BEST ways to prioritise your time and therefore your life (Pro-tip 1: make sure you put looking after yourself in the top 5! Pro tip 2: Write these down and have them somewhere you can see them regularly, like the screen saver on your phone!)
  1. Learn to be PROUD to say NO. If you’re anything like me (who was born with FOMO in my DNA!), learning to let go of obligation-based decision-making will be hard! It might start with small no’s first and then progress to bigger, less guilt ridden ones. But I promise you it will be one of the most empowering things you will learn in this life! Once you know what your priorities are (see #1) you can make conscious choices about how and where you divide your time and energy so that you have enough in the tank to play and love hard because you put YOUR needs first… kinda like the ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ philosophy on the plane!
  1. Take a social media sabbatical. (and maybe even a general news break too). Time online is both a gift and scourge – you have to be the boss of it or it will rule and ruin you. Make your mind a place that only good things go - positive self-talk, positive content and eradication of things that make you feel like you are not ‘enough’ in ANY way. Your brain gets ultra tired processing the mega bits of info that come across your feeds all day. One simple way to give your busy mind it’s required rest is scheduled offline time each day. Turn your phone off from 8pm, charge it anywhere but your bedroom and see your sleep markedly improve. Even this tiny fix can give you significantly more energy to invest in those things you actually really want to do.
  1. Put it in your diary. Why? Because if you schedule it it’s REAL. You can fantasise all day about taking a time out from your kids, having a holiday, getting a facial, or starting that daily meditation practice you’ve been meaning to. But commitment to follow through is a very different thing. If there’s something you really want YOU will have to take the initiative and rally the troops you need to help you achieve the peace and respite you desire. Talk to your support crew (friends, family, partners, co-workers) and let them know your needs. You’ve got your list of goals and values to help you explain why this is important to you. Enrol them to help you and then put it in THEIR calendars too! And don’t be tempted to work through or cancel your appointments with yourself. Keeping these is part of your integrity, it’s a contract with yourself to take responsibility for your own care and needs. Remember you are worth as much of your own love, care, attention, respect and energy as everyone else who wants and needs you.

I wish you all the best on your personal journey of self-care and self-mastery! It may not be easy, but it’s essential for your sustainable wellbeing and that of those around you too.

Be wild, be wise, be well!

 

Ramone is a soul seeking traveller with wunderlust at heart.  Her passion is to help you live a life that allows you to be wild, be wise and be well. Ramone has over 20 years experience in the health, wellness, and fitness industries, and is a certified Yoga Teacher, Thai Massage Therapist and Energetic healer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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