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The Necessity of Taking Time for Yourself -- And How to Really Do It

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  • The Necessity of Taking Time for Yourself -- And How to Really Do It

    So many of us feel guilty if we're not busy all the time, and pat ourselves on the back for working like crazy. This, we feel, shows what type of person we are: one who puts others first, and isn't afraid of a little hard work.

    Yet, where does this martyr-type attitude really get us?

    For one, it gets us plenty of stress, which we all know can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression and more illnesses in general. It also gets us feeling downright harried on most days of the week, so much so that our days whiz by without so much as a stroll through the park or an hour with a really good book.

    “Many of us live a life filled with doing things for others while forgetting ourselves,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. “And even if you are not a caregiver or someone who puts others first, you sometimes get so busy with the task at hand in your life that you forget that you also need to take care of and nurture yourself.”

    Indeed, the more you focus on others at the expense of yourself, the more likely you are to become burned out, bitter, and possibly even resentful. Clearly, this is not a favor to anyone in your life.

    “It is critically important to remember to take care of yourself,” Dwoskin says. “If you're not taking care of yourself you deplete your own energy and you also prevent yourself from enjoying whatever it is that you are doing in life.”

    How to Take Time for Yourself

    It’s not always easy to set aside “me” time, particularly if you’re used to always giving. But here are some tips that can help:

    1. Look at “me” time as a priority. Schedule it into your day like you do eating, sleeping and working. Make a list of various things you’d enjoy doing during “your” time and refer to it whenever you have a free moment.
    2. Trim your schedule of activities you don't find fulfilling, along with people who drain your energy. Use the time you'd spend on them for yourself.
    3. Realize you don’t have to be perfect. If you’ve been spending loads of time preparing elaborate dinner parties or baking for your son’s school bake sale, relax. Order a pizza next time you have friends over, and pick up some cookies from a local bakery for your son. Voila! Instant “me” time.
    4. Make it a routine. It takes about three to six weeks to make something a habit, so commit to your scheduled “me” time for that long and it should become second nature.
    5. Release. Anytime you're feeling overwhelmed or tempted to over-commit yourself, release those feelings using The Sedona Method.

    'As you do take time for yourself you find the time actually expands,' Dwoskin says. 'Even when you're engaged in other actions that may not appear to be for you, you'll find your efficiency level going up dramatically because you have taken a timeout. By the way, one of the best ways to take a time out is to spend some time releasing.'
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