You are the most important person in your life. After all, without you, you wouldn’t have life, right? So why do we not all take a bit more time to take care of ourselves? Why do so many of us spend our time doing and doing for others and forgetting all about ourselves? I’m guily of it; I know this. I’d rather do for my kids and husband than for myself on a regular basis. I find myself giving myself to others on a regular basis and completely forgetting about me. And sometimes, I can feel the negative effects of that crashing in around me like a ton of bricks. The truth of the matter is that I do not spend nearly enough time focusing on myself, and sometimes that makes me feel like a bad wife, a bad mother and a bad friend. And when I begin to feel like one of those women (all of those women), I know it’s time for me to invest in myself to get back on track.
See, when I take the time to invest myself in one of the following ways, I become a better person. I become more relaxed. I become a better mother. I become a better wife. I become a happier person in general. I become someone that I want to be, rather than someone I am not. I firmly believe that the only way to be good at everything in life is to be happy with yourself, to take care of yourself and to make sure that you make yourself a priority. I let go – long ago – of the shame of being selfish at times. After all, I have to live with myself every single day, and if I’m not happy with me, what’s the point? I am the best mom and wife and friend when I am happy and relaxed, and that’s just the truth of the matter all the way around. Since I know how much investing in me can pay off, I thought I might share with you a few of my favorite ways to invest in yourself that can actually improve your life as a whole (happy wife, happy life, right?).
Take a Break
Sometimes the best way to invest in your own life is to take a break. I know when I need one. I know it because I can feel myself snapping at people without reason. I find my patience dwindling, I find myself being a bit ugly to others. I know when I yell at my kids it’s time for me to take a break. I can take a walk, get on our golf cart and take a solo ride through the neighborhood. I can go get a pedicure, take a long shower, get out of the house; something. A break is all I really need sometimes.
My husband and I know that we need to get away. We take frequent date nights. We do one at least every other week, and we try to do it weekly but our schedule with four kids is hectic. But we know we need to spend time alone and focus on our marriage. And we know that means at least one night away every few months; usually a long weekend just for us. It helps so much; we feel so refreshed and happy when we get home. Another way you can do this without spending money is just to go somewhere free, such as the beach, and just spend some time alone.
Spend an Hour a Day to Yourself
I love to do this for me, and it’s something I like to do with my husband. We put the kids to bed and we spend an hour to ourselves doing what we want to do and not what we have to do. We like to have the house cleaned, work done and everything handled so that after the kids are in bed we can sit on the patio with wine, watch a movie or read. We don’t always do the same thing, but we always stick to the same room so we can cuddle while doing it.
Get Up Earlier
My life has changed since I began getting up earlier than my kids. I’m tired, sure. But I was tired before, too, so it doesn’t really matter. A 5 am wakeup call for me means that I can spend an hour and a half working, I can do my hair and makeup after my shower, I can drink two cups of coffee with my husband and I can just relax. It’s a nice, peaceful way to start the day and I much prefer it to the hectic mornings the kids would wake me up with them and my day started on full blast.
Listen to your Body
I know now so much more than I knew then, whenever that was. By becoming more in tune with your body, you can invest in yourself in a way you never realized possible. For me it’s all about learning to recognize what I’m feeling and when, and handling it right away. I know when I need to exercise, when I need to eat some veggies and when I need to slow down. With four kids and so much going on it’s not always easy to be able to do what’s needed to invest in my health, but I have to do it and my body tells me when I need to do it.
Read a Book
The best version of me happens when I’m able to sit down for a few minutes a day – preferably longer – with a good book. It’s been my favorite pastime and hobby since I was a child, and it makes me happy. When I’m happy, I’m a pretty awesome person.
Make Regular Spa Days
The spa is expensive, and I know it’s not in every budget all the time. But it should be something you do for yourself at least once every few months. What I like to do – and my husband likes to surprise me with – is spa day at our favorite local hotel. It means, for me, a massage, pedicure and facials followed by a few hours laying out by the pool sipping a nice cocktail and reading a book without anyone to interrupt me except the waiter with my drinks. When I get home, I feel good and it lasts for weeks. Another great way to do this without spending any money is to do it at home. An at-home spa day is a nice day, too.
As a woman, I have indulgences. They might be similar to yours or completely different. I am a shoe person and a hair person. I like to indulge myself with freshly colored hair every 4 weeks (it used to be six, but since I’m 31 and becoming very grey, I’ve decided to go blonde and hide that grey) and I like shoes. I like to indulge myself every so often because it makes me feel good and it gives me a reason to smile that has nothing to do with anyone but me. I know my indulgences cost money, but there are plenty that do not, and you should try them.
Find Something for You
Everyone needs something in their life that is just for them. We all do; whether it’s a book club or a class or a hobby. It needs to be something that’s just for you, not anyone else in your household. Not your spouse, not your kids; just you. We all deserve this, and it’s something that makes us feel good.
Learn the Art of Saying No
If you want to know the best way to invest in you, you have to learn something that might be a bit difficult at first. You have to learn to say no to others. You have to learn to do it without guilt, and you have to learn to do it without offering an explanation. The biggest cause of stress in our lives is the constant need to say yes to people, to do things for others we don’t want to do and to over-extend ourselves. It’s not easy to learn to do this, but you’ll become a bit more confident and a bit freer each time you say, “Love to, can’t,” to someone. Trust me.
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