A lot of my clients come to me because they need to reconnect with themselves.
Yes, these are often women. But not just. Some men struggle with that too, but more rarely and in a different form (another blog topic I will explore later!)
Typically, they feel that they have given so much to others, whether that's kids, a partner or work, that they have lost themselves along the way.
They have become so creative when it comes to squeezing 3 activities for their kids, prepping a meal, sending 2 emails for work while calling their mother in law to see how she is doing. All in the same hour.
Yet, they are absolutely incapable of asking everyone to step back because they need 30 minutes for themselves. They can’t sit down and relax, find time to exercise or do those things that make them feel good and alive.
THEY JUST CAN’T DO IT.
When it comes to them, to their well-being, to their self care, that creativity goes down the drain. And if they manage to do it, it is often filled with so much guilt that it ruins the moment.
Everyone and everything else has become more important.
Sounds familiar ?
I have struggled with that myself. I still do on occasion. I remember admiring my husband as he left for work or for a business trip walking out the door worrying about nothing but himself. Not in a mean or selfish way. He was just miles away from the million logistical things that would or could happen with 3 kids while he was gone and that were polluting my mind and keeping me away from myself.
I wanted that worry-free spirit. I wanted that lightness and focus I had lost.
I wanted to be with me again.
Just for a little bit, to see what it was like. To see if I remembered.
I knew deep inside that this would make me a better parent, a better partner and a better human all around.
But no one was going to give it to me. I had to ask for it. I had to give to myself what I was giving to others. I SIMPLY HAD TO TAKE IT BECAUSE IT WASN'T JUST ABOUT ME .
And that’s the piece that made the difference. Believing that I deserved it and that I was doing everyone a favour by taking that time.
How could I possibly encourage my children to be independent and self-caring at the same time if I wasn’t even able to do it myself ? Could I really tell them they needed to nap when I wasn’t able to do it ?
So I started napping too. Alone. I didn’t put the laundry on when they were sleeping, I read. I meditated. I called a friend who made me laugh. I started reconnecting with those things that made me happy and that I completely lost track of.
And I realized that I needed that alone time sooooo badly. I had missed being with me.
I had missed that person I had been with all my life and whose company I enjoyed.
I had lost track of all the changes she had had in her life and that I didn’t have time to process with her.
I needed to love myself again, to feed myself and cry about the things I lost and those that I found instead.
This year, it’s all about you. And I want to take you onto to a journey to fall in love with you again.
Love requires time and commitment, as you know, so this week, try asking for some time. This is not about asking permission, it's about expressing your needs and being heard. Explain to your kids or partner why it’s important, why we all win when we care for ourselves.
And if you don't feel like asking, then just take that time for yourself because you matter too. Because you deserve the same love and attention you give so generously to others.
And remember to share your victories with me : I would love to hear from you ! (firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below)
Until then, say hi to you from me …
Much love, Antonia
If you feel you need a little more help with this, check out my free download on How to set boundaries and prioritize yourself again.