You’re the best at looking out for YOU. Sometimes.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this world and all it’s responsibilities. I find myself telling my little munchkin not to grow up too fast and to enjoy being a child. It really is the easiest time in life. As the world goes back to work and school this month, any rest days or holidays are fast becoming distant memories. I think I’m pretty self-aware (I should be considering my latest self-development offering MeQ Personal Strengths Profiling) and my reflections on 2016 made me realise just how little attention I gave myself last year.

It was no doubt a busy year that ended with grief, which continues to catch me off guard at any time. I miss my Dad, he was one of those people who I could connect to without saying much – an unspoken understanding between us. I talk to his photograph these days and I still find myself tearing up when I remember something about him – words he used, his presence or actions. Losing him has created a stillness in me, as if I am living out of my body. I notice things around me without quite being present. I see people dramatizing simple things like what colour to dye their hair or who they want to tell about their newest gadget. It all seems so trivial and pointless to me.

This might sound so very melancholic but I have learned that I need to practice two things with myself as I deal with my feelings – patience and compassion. The same applies to anyone who has lost their nearest and dearest – if I am around them, I can only give them my compassion and patience. I have also realized the value of comfort and providing care to oneself. As much as I am in tune with my feelings, I have found it difficult to share my grief with my closest family and friends. I cry on my own and I’m careful not to show my tears to my little girl. That might not be the best thing for her – she needs to learn that we can’t be sunshine and happiness all the time.

Today, I witnessed an older girl at her school, kick and scream because it was her first day at a new school and she did not want to leave her mother. The principal had grabbed her one arm but this girl would not let go of her mother and she screamed across the quadrant. I was in tears at her pain, but it was really my own pain that was coming through. I watched her mother put her hand over her mouth and walk away and it was too much for me. Sure, I’m a big softie – I cry if I love the words to a song – and I fully acknowledge the role that hormones play on our emotions, but perhaps I just need to cry it all out.

Even better, perhaps, I just need to find comfort for myself. That means taking time to care for my mind, body and soul. Sure, this might not always be possible on a daily basis, but every single week calls for a personal time-out. If you are an over-worked individual that has given all your time away, please reclaim some of it for yourself at least once a week because if you don’t take care of your own needs, no-one else will and you will be of little use to everyone else in your exhausted, irritable state. As Fawne Hansen, author of The Adrenal Fatigue Solution says, set an alarm clock if you have to, to ensure that you get ‘me-time’ on a regular basis.

I’ve come to learn that there is no point to feeling guilty about taking ‘me-time’ because it means less time with loved ones – they will appreciate an improvement in your mood and energy levels if you just give yourself a time-out.

Everybody wins if you Invest in Yourself.

What are your thoughts on this idea? Feel free to share your favourite personal time-out plans or routines on this blog post.

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