Are you your second choice?

Written by Hayley Strawbridge - Founder of Love From You

Recently I’ve been listening to Jenna Kutcher’s awe-inspiring and educational ‘Goal Digger’ podcast series (highly recommend it BTW!). In one of her podcasts, she talks about the importance of taking a day off without feeling guilty. Jenna talks about this moment when she was doing yoga and the instructor was leading her through a pose and saying ‘relax, no one needs you in this very moment’. She remembers thinking, well that’s not totally true, someone might need me.

Now I know that type of thinking is probably true for many of us as women, mothers, sisters, carers or even fathers and brothers, whoever we are, it can be a struggle to put ourselves first because we’ve learnt to naturally put others first. So, if you’re anything like me when I choose to put myself first, I sometimes feel guilty, uncomfortable, selfish or even judged. No one wants to experience these feelings - they don’t make us feel good, so we tend to neglect our own needs.

It’s important that I set myself boundaries to make myself accountable for looking after my own needs and to not feel guilty about doing so.

Here’s some examples of some of the guidelines I’ve implemented in my daily life:

  1. Being honest and open with people about having time to myself – this sometimes means having to say no to that after work drink. Most of the time people can relate and even if they don’t, just know you don’t owe an explanation.
  2. Writing down my feelings to get a clear picture of why I might be feeling guilty for taking some me time. The practice of writing them down helps me work through them but it’s also quite therapeutic, so I’m really achieving two things at once!
  3. Diarise activities during the week that I’m committed to such as an afternoon walk, morning meditation or a Pilates class. For me, if it’s in my diary I’m committed to it!
  4. Most importantly putting my phone onto do-not-disturb while practicing self-care. I also have do-not-disturb turned on automatically in the evenings and first thing in the morning which helps me to self-consciously turn off.