This post was sponsored by domain .ME; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. #MeDay
As mothers sometimes we find it hard to find ME time, to take care of ourselves and to just take some time to take care of ourselves. We sometimes forget the importance of giving ourselves the time to relax, recharge and energize and how important that is to find a work/life balance. This is why when I was asked to talk about “ME Day,” on March 16th, I could not wait to share with my readers how proud I am of being ME and how I find time for myself. Created by domain .ME this day promotes the values of diversity, tolerance and freedom, as well as self-appreciation and importance of taking care of ourselves.
From the day that my daughter was born, nine years ago, my life changed completely and suddenly she became the center of my universe. She made me incredibly happy and having someone to care for opened my eyes to an amazing world that I share with mothers all over the world but as a single mom I felt I had to make up for the fact that I was taking care of her on my own; her needs where always more important than mine and I felt guilty taking time to myself. When she was 3 years old she was diagnosed with Autism and a few months after that my little guy started having sensory issues; I dedicated every waking minute of my day to find ways to help them, take them to therapies and kids activities where they could socialize.
I was pushing myself to the limit at work to make enough to afford therapies, I put my children’s needs before my own to the point that I started forgetting about ME. I felt exhausted and moody and I realized that this was affecting the people I loved and was trying so hard to make happy and protect: my kids and my husband. So about two years ago I realized that I needed to make a change, I needed to add ME to that long to do list. I had to make time for ME.
Steps For Finding Time For Yourself
- Add ME to your to do list. Make a conscious decision to make time for yourself. As with many other things this can be a hard step, there always seems to be something more important but remember that when you take care of yourself you are better equipped to take care of the ones you love.
- Find what moves you, what recharges you. I had spent so much time focusing on others that I had completely forgotten my own dreams and my own goals. As I looked at my blog and what I wrote about I realized that I was just writing about parenting, cooking meals for my family and tips for raising bilingual kids, all things that I love, but I was not writing about something that moved ME, that was just mine. I have always loved travel and I was always making excuses but I realized that I did not have to jump on a plane to Europe and spend thousands of dollars to travel; I could travel with my family getting to know my own city and state. I also realized that blogging could help me realize those travel dreams so I started my second blog 2 years ago, on 365 Things To Do In Southwest Florida my family and I explore our own back yard and since we started it we have had some pretty amazing and exciting adventures right here in Florida.
- Create personal goals and put ME on your schedule. At the beginning of the year I make a list of all of my goals, these include work related goals as well as personal goals like saving money to make that dream trip to Istambul and improving my health and wellness by walking every day. To make sure I can carve some ME time every day I sit down at the beginning of the week to plan my schedule and I put ME time on the calendar and treat it like any other appointment. After putting the kids on the bus at 6:45am I jump in the car and head to a nearby natural reserve for my morning walk.
- Find the time for yourself and don’t be afraid to put ME first. I used to think I did not have 15 minutes to take a walk or take a day off to yourself. By looking a closer look at how I use my time every day I was able to find those areas where I was wasting time. Now I check my email a few times a day at specific times instead of checking it every minute and I stay away from social media for hours at a time which makes me more productive.
- Create a routine that includes ME time. When I start work at 9am I feel energized and ready. I usually walk by myself and most times I am the only person there, I love nature and no matter how stressful my week has been once I find myself surrounded by mangroves, water and wildlife the stress just lifts away and I feel at peace.
- Learn to ask for help. This was one of the hardest things for me but the truth is we can not do everything ourselves. To find that work/life balance we need to delegate, ask for help and learn to say no.
So why not take a ME Day? Internationally, ME Day is March 16th, but you can take a ME Day any time! A ME Day is a day for yourself – you do what relaxes you and allows you to embrace yourself and your achieveMEnts.
I love to travel and I have decided that it’s ok to travel alone sometimes. I travel for work so I try to stay an extra day to explore the place where I am and always try to go somewhere I have never been before. A few weeks ago I was in LA for conference and after the conference was done I visited Avalon, in Santa Catalina island. It was a truly magical day. I spent all day walking alone along the ocean, browsing the stores and watching seals play among the boats in the harbor. As the sun went down behind the mountains and the sky and water turned all shades of pinks and oranges I felt renewed, re-energized and happy, and most importantly I didn’t feel guilty about taking a day to myself!
How will you take a ME day?