What Did You Do for Yourself Today

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

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As most of us find ourselves trying to deal with the current economic issues that have enveloped our lives, it has become necessary for us to take on more work and responsibilities. It doesn’t matter where we work (at home or outside of the home), the influences currently governing our lives have created more stress for more people than ever before. Most of us find ourselves getting up earlier in the morning, running all day long and finally collapsing at a late hour in order to grab a few hours of sleep before starting the cycle all over again. But,

…regardless of what we may do to help others, we must always look out for ourselves first and foremost. That is not selfishness. It is the understanding that if we do not take care of ourselves first, we will be of no assistance to anyone else.
as we continue this cycle, what is the penalty that we all pay personally and in our relationships as a result?

The first response is that we try to do more for those around us who are also struggling. Be it our children, spouses, significant others, other family members or co-workers, we jump right in to do whatever we can to make things better for them. We make sacrifices in every arena imaginable in order to help others. And we sometimes go so far above and beyond that we give away too much of ourselves. Then when we realize that others that we are helping neither appreciate nor acknowledge our efforts, we start to resent them.

I am not suggesting that we don’t help others. I am the first person who believes that we absolutely should step up and support one another. However, regardless of what we may do to help others, we must always look out for ourselves first and foremost. That is not selfishness. It is the understanding that if we do not take care of ourselves first, we will be of no assistance to anyone else. We can’t keep driving ourselves into the ground with work and obligations and doing for others when it is always to our own detriment.

What I believe we need to do is to set aside a bit of time for ourselves each day to do something nice for ourselves. It may be some time to read or watch TV while focusing on nothing else. It may be taking a nap in the middle of the day. It may be a period of time for meditation or a nice, quiet bath with candlelight and soft music. I personally shut down all work, computers, etc. about an hour before bedtime so that I can wind down before heading to bed. This allows for me to be nice and sleepy so that I can fall asleep quickly once I hit the bed.

I recently saw a study that indicates that a lack of sleep and stress are the two things that are most detrimental to us. I personally believe this to be true. Getting enough sleep and doing something special for myself each day reminds me that I do deserve more than working and working and working until I drop. I do deserve more than receiving enjoyment just from helping others. I do deserve to do something special for myself each day and so do you. You are worth it.