Taking time for yourself with Katie Irk

Among the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to put aside your own needs to ensure those around you are taken care of. You may set goals for yourself that involve doing it all and being everything to everyone—a Wonder Woman of sorts. While those goals are attainable for short periods of time, you may lose sight of yourself and your values in the process. And when you feel emotionally depleted, you have nothing else to give.

Like me, you may have been taught from a young age that altruism and selflessness are important attributes. While this is true, self-care is also a crucial part of maintaining a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. It goes deeper than just occasionally treating yourself to a bubble bath or new pair of shoes. Making yourself a priority is something you should do daily. You may think you don’t have the time or energy to engage in self-care habits, but making a few simple changes to your attitude and actions can go a long way. Soon enough, self-care will become second nature, so here’s how to make it happen:


Choose your words carefully

What you say matters and not just to the people around you. The messages you tell yourself affect your mood and perception. Treating yourself with compassion, being understanding of your shortcomings and praising your successes in the way you would a close friend will help you to be kinder and more attuned to yourself.


Slow down

Rushing to the next task on your to-do list deprives you of experiences. Take time to enjoy the little things. From taking an extra 10 minutes to appreciate your coffee or giving your scalp an in-depth massage in the shower, you’ll get more out of life by giving more to yourself.


Set boundaries

If you’re a “yes woman” who seems to be at everyone else’s beck and call, it’s important to practice saying “no.” Recognize your own limits and understand when you can’t add anymore to your plate. If saying “yes” will overwhelm you or force you to sacrifice your own needs, hit them with a graceful “no, thanks.”


Identify your own needs

It’s easy to lose sight of what you want out of life when you’re concerned with getting everyone else where they need to be. Take time to reflect and ask yourself about your own needs, desires and dreams, and identify what steps you can take to get there.


Create non-negotiable rituals

Holding on to consistency when everything else seems to be spinning out of control helps maintain balance and calm. Find enjoyable activities to add to your schedule, like reading a good book before bed, stretching in the evenings or going to a exercise class once a week.

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