Ah self-care. It’s on your to-do list. You’ll make time for it. You’re just too busy right now. If you don’t run your household and your business, who will?
To our own detriment, we prioritize everyone and everything else. I haven’t met a mother who doesn’t struggle with this, myself included. For the longest time my motto was “I’ve got this.” You’ve got an autoimmune disease and you need surgery, your husband has to go to Germany for work and will be gone for two weeks, your son’s social anxiety is crippling and he’s miserable, you need to start marketing the new branch of the company you work for oh and you move in three weeks. Sound familiar? I’VE. GOT. THIS. I didn’t.
In organizing a “perfectly balanced” schedule, I failed to block out any time for myself. As an organized person, that was hard to accept. The harder truth? I realized that if I don’t make room for me, no one else will. I need to make it happen, but how? I can barely handle what’s already on my plate.
Shift your mindset
Why is your yoga class not as important as a conference call or dance recital? You committed to both the call and recital so, why are the promises you made yourself any less important? They aren’t.
Decide and re-prioritize
What do you need? What do you want more of? Time alone? Time with friends? Exercise? Don’t focus on all the things you should be doing or what others around you are doing. Pick one or two needs and focus your efforts on those. I had to make time for a new diet and exercise regimen. That wasn’t an option. However, I wanted to make friends in my new community and read more books so, I joined a local mom’s book club.
In the same way you have to schedule everything for everyone all the time yes, you have to schedule this too. If you can block the same day(s) and time(s) every week, even better. It’s much easier to schedule around a reoccurring event. This will likely require some reevaluating. Yes, you can say “no” to organizing the classroom party. Yes, your kids can do two instead of three extracurricular activities a quarter and be perfectly content.
Here are a few, fun ideas to help you maximize your me time:
A mobile gym. Use an under-the-bed box to store a yoga mat, strap, block, and weights under a bed or couch.
Spa basket. Put a washcloth, loofah, nail brush, and your favorite soaps, lotions, serums, and masks in a pretty basket that you keep under the sink or on a shelf in your linen closet. Use a pretty zippered pouch to create an on-the-go version for your purse or car with your favorite lip balm, hand lotion, essential oil, nail file, tea bag, and mantra card to squeeze in a few extra minutes while you’re waiting in the school pick-up line.
Hobby kits. Knitting. Calligraphy. Scrapbooking. Painting. Place all your necessary tools in a handled caddy to keep them all in one place. It’s easy to carry and put back.
Ask for help
Somewhere along the way we decided that asking for help makes us weak or lesser than. It doesn’t. Buddy up. Talk to a friend about what you want and what you’re trying to do. Hold each other accountable. That’s what we do with our clients. When we schedule a session, we’re making a promise that we’ll be there to help them tackle their organizing dilemma. Find ways each family member can pitch in. Yes, you will have to keep asking your kids over and over because they will forget but, keep asking. It’s worth the time you’re gaining for yourself.
Once a week, my neighbor and I take turns caring for each other’s kids so we can each go to a workout class we love. I volunteer once instead of twice a month in my son’s class. We eat leftovers three nights a week. My boys do their laundry. Guess what? Everything is okay and everyone is still alive. Is life still chaotic? Yes! That won’t change. What has changed is the value I place on my time and my need for self-care. My new motto? “I am worth it.”
Don’t break one more promise you made yourself. Make this week the week you make room for self-care. The time and space you give yourself to recover, reflect, and re-energize will make you, your relationships, your business stronger and, a happier summer.
Less is More is a full-service home organizing company inspired by a passion for beauty and order. For more tips go to lessismoreorganizers.com
By Catherine Gibel