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Self Care: Making Time to Take Better Care of Yourself

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New Year's resolutions tend to fizzle after the first six weeks of the year and attempts to make healthy lifestyle changes often die on the vine. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for many busy women who want to make changes is finding the time to actually make the changes.

Here’s a question I was asked in an interview recently: “How do we justify taking time out for a workout or a healthy lunch or to work on that novel we want to write when our to-do lists are still a mile long?"

This question is really evaluating the mindset we have about taking the time for these things. The question itself suggests that it’s hard to see our own action items as important—or as of the same importance as the other items on our to-do lists. If you want to make successful and lasting progress with your goals this year, this is a critical shift in mindset that you must make.

When we see something as essential or valuable we cease to feel the need to defend or justify it. What is your mindset about me-time and self care? Too many women are stuck in the mindset of believing that self care is expendable—that it’s an “if I can get to it” luxury that can be skipped with little consequence if you need to save time. Not true.

The very busy president of the United States (and every past president I can recall) makes time in his incredibly busy life for regular exercise (as well as for leisure and self care) does that tell you something about how important and life-enhancing it is?

Consider the costs of not taking the time you need for yourself. This includes not taking the time you need to move forward on your important goals.

Symptoms or side effects of not getting enough of what you need to thrive include:

• Overeating
• Compromised health and/or wellness
• Diminished energy
• Decreased productivity
• Reduced focus (including getting distracted from your own goals and priorities)
• Diminished passion for the things that are truly important to you
• Exhaustion and stress
• Time lost “zoning out” or escaping or “being tired”

When we take time for ourselves to work on bettering our own life, our health, or goals and dreams we:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.