When it’s okay to stop worrying about others, and indulge in some “me” time.
Do you remember the last time you took a day off from worrying about everything around you, and just pampered yourself? Can you recall the last time you took even a couple of hours to make yourself your number one priority? Don’t blame yourself. With only 24 hours in the day, even superwoman couldn’t juggle all the responsibilities of working, child-rearing, husband-tending, and care-giving while still being able to kick back and relax with a glass of wine and a romance novel at the end of the night.
The problem is that women today are expected to be able to manage it all: The job, the kids, the husband, the white pickett fence, the spotless house, and the perfectly groomed yard for the perfectly groomed dog. But to try and achieve this cookie-cutter ideal of the perfect woman, we tend to find ourselves taking on too many roles (homemaker, career woman, chauffeur, Martha Stewart) that we overlook our most important identity…ourselves.
To find out when it’s okay for a woman to take a few minutes to be selfish and not feel bad about it, I reached out to relationship expert Maryanne Comaroto for advice about when women should take much-needed “me” time without affecting the responsibilities you have to those most important in your life.
“Take a look at your relationship with being selfish. There is still such a stigma around women being selfish, so the first thing you need to come up with your own working definition of being selfish. I’ve got one and it’s, ‘My success benefits everyone,’ so you need to frame what’s true about being selfish and what is just stigma. It takes a lot of courage and it also involves making a distinction between what is something that is non-negotiable versus what is preference. For me, it’s okay to be selfish when it involves taking care of myself to stay in balanced,” she says.
It’s OK to be selfish when …
It comes to your health
“Anything that involves your health and wellness, including physical and mental health. I set aside everyday, it’s part of a practice, things that support that. Depending on my time I make sure it’s part of my day. I remember when my son was around four we would go to the gym and they had this little daycare place and he’d go, ‘Mommy why do you have to exercise,’ and I said because, ‘When I’m healthy I can take better care of you.’ My son is now 21 and he’s adopted that for himself, he works out, he eats well, and he feels good about taking care of himself because he knows he’s more available to do the stuff that he needs to do,” she says.
Picking your friends
“Be selfish when you pick the people you surround yourself with. In my inner core circle, I’m very selfish about who I choose to spend my time with. Don’t spend hours and hours with people who are life sucking vultures, people who don’t want to be awake, that suck the life from you, don’t say thank you, don’t say sorry and they will leave you for dead. Be very selfish about who your core support system is, the people you spend the most time with. With these people, there needs to be a flow involved. You’re not always giving, you’re getting too. You’re giving you’re getting, you’re giving you’re getting and it’s balanced,” she says.
Planning your time
“Don’t pretend you have more hours in the day than you do, and map them out. We all have 24 hours, we spend 5-8 on sleeping, two of them primping and prepping, three of them back and forth in the car. When you do the math you have about seven juicy full hours that you get to aside from work that you have any say about and you need to parcel them out because they are precious. Don’t be in denial about your time,” she says.
“Don’t say yes to things that disempower you, or anybody else. Don’t say yes to things that you don’t have time for, or can’t realistically follow through with, without sacrificing something that’s more important to you. We’re so busy trying to please people, and we think we can do it all. Learn to delegate, learn to get people involved when you need help, because people like to help,” she says.
Making Time For A Spiritual Practice
“Always make time to feed your soul. Otherwise we tend to look outside ourselves to fill our time up with distraction after distraction. If you feel empty inside and not connected to a power or purpose greater than ourselves we end up getting involved in some kind of unhealthy addiction or distracted behavior that creates a vapid life, that feeling that something is missing. Make it a practice to nourish your soul everyday, and be selfish with that, don’t give that up. Whether it’s a yoga retreat once every three months, or you set aside 10 minutes a day to meditate, it’s your time. You get to have it,” she says.
When do you make time for yourself? Tweet us your story using the #Selfish hashtag.
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