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Do you know the safety drill of air stewards, “Put your mask on before assisting others”? When it comes to taking care of everyone else, have you forgotten about you? Are you actually taking care of yourself at all? Or, did you forget to put your air mask on first?
We are trained from a very early age that our role in the family is multifaceted. Often we are not only managing the many aspects of the household and budget, but also have kids with diverse interests and schedules that we wish to nurture and accommodate.
When we add the dynamic of being an entrepreneur and/or leader to the mix of all that needs to be completed in a day at work and at home, it can often land us at the bottom of our priority list.
The danger zone is when you begin to lose your sense of self.
When you take care of everyone else and you neglect you, and everything you want to accomplish you don’t accomplish because there are no parts of you left.
So what can you do to reset when you have no time or energy for you?
Here are five easy ways to include you and your wellness in your life:
No matter what is going on in your life, schedule 15 minutes for you. Depending on your current schedule, this may not even seem possible so start with 5 minutes. Even if it means you wake up 5 minutes earlier, book yourself on your calendar for 5 minutes, or you go to bed 5 minutes later than usual. As busy as we all are, there is always a way to take a break if we make it a priority.
During that time for you, it can be doing breathing exercises, watching a funny video on YouTube, or even enjoying your favorite cup of coffee. Whatever that is for you, take a few minutes to relax and connect with your body.
Once you have added the 15 minutes then keep adding five more minutes until you have at the least one-hour a day for you. There will be days that it may not be one hour and other days it will extend beyond the hour. The key is to include you and your needs to your long list of priorities.
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment; rather than operating on automatic pilot. It’s taking time to regularly stop whatever it is that you are doing and ask yourself,
“How am I doing right now? Do I require anything?”
Although we have the ability to multi-task and get a million things completed in a day, giving more than 100% of us to our work and all our other priorities on a continuous basis without taking time to replenish ourselves, has its own consequences.
Our bodies speak to us in different ways. It usually starts with the little whisper to take a break, eat something now, or it’s now time to go to sleep. If we continue not to listen then our bodies tend to show us in a more dramatic way like getting sick, losing our voice, or physically not being able to get out of bed.
When you take moments throughout the day to check in with your body then you can be more aware of what is needed on a more proactive way.
Our bodies tend to store tension and stress when we are hyper focused on getting things done. And even when we are busy rushing around, that type of movement doesn’t allow the body to release the tension. A few times a day, move your body with the intention of creating more ease and relaxation for yourself.
Moving your body does not automatically mean you have to go to the gym or go for a run. It can be as easy as standing up and stretching your legs, hips, and neck. The motion of moving from your desk to the next room can relax your body and improve circulation. Additionally, movement of your body provides a break from what you were concentrating on and can be a creative process yielding many more ideas and solutions.
Have you acknowledged your own brilliance?
We have the tendency to focus on what we haven’t done, what we didn’t do perfectly, where we dropped the ball or everything that is still left to do.
You can create greater satisfaction and a truer sense of self when you can simply acknowledge everything you have done, even if it was something like opening the door for a stranger that you would automatically do without thinking.
Every act of kindness, every idea, every thought, and every task completed on the to-do list is worth acknowledging and celebrating. Some of these you will immediately see, some you may never know see but it is the generosity of spirit that changes everything around us. The key is to know that you are a contribution you touched today and enjoying the adventure of it all.
Give yourself permission to let go of things and people when they are no longer contributing to you. Include supportive people in your life AND ask for help when you need it.
Check in regularly with your goals in life and know when they or you need adjusting.
You will be amazed at how putting these seemingly simple things in place will create beautiful momentum – and more room for you – in your life.
Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock is a management consultant, Joy of Business facilitator, and founder and CEO of Belapemo and Global Wellness for All. A passionate change-agent, Laleh has empowered thousands of individuals including Fortune 500 executives, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, athletes and veterans to achieve optimal growth.