When coping with stress it is important to balance work and play. Setting aside time for yourself is a necessary stress management technique.
So often, too many of us do not take this necessary time for ourselves. Maybe it be due to overcrowding your schedule, or perhaps feelings of guilt. Many see it as being selfish, when in fact it is very healthy. No matter your reason, steps need to be taken to bring life into balance where you can learn to have fun again.
You Matter Too!
It is not uncommon for people suffering with chronic stress and anxiety to be the types of people who do all they can for others. They extend themselves further than they should, putting others needs always before their own.
Although, many times, it is a noble thing to put others first, it becomes damaging when you never think of yourself and neglect your own needs for the sake of others.
The idea is to balance life and the things you do. This doesn't mean you have to stop being the giving person that you are, it just means that you need to make yourself a priority too.
Do Something Fun
Take time to think for a minute. What do you enjoy? What do you always wish you had time to do? What do you consider fun and enjoyable?
I think everyone has their own definition of what's fun to them. What matters the most is that you do something that you consider fun, something that you enjoy and want to be a part of.
With life and it's many demands, you must never forget that you have the power inside yourself to choose what you are going to do and not do.
Having Fun is Good for the Brain
When you are having fun and doing something you enjoy, you are promoting the growth and health of the neurotransmitters in your brain. You are deliberately making the healthy choice to maintain good mental health. Enjoyment in life is essential to healthy living.
Say No Without Feeling Guilty
It is also important that when you make this time for yourself that you don't allow others to make you feel bad for doing so. Remember, people cannot make you feel guilty without your permission.
It is one thing to be selfish by always thinking of yourself and no one else, but when all you do is care for others, it's not selfish, it's absolutely necessary.
People in your family, friends and even your co-workers, who are used to you being all-giving may not understand when you begin to say no to certain things and see you making time for you a priority. They may make comments, or oddly enough, may become upset by this new change.
If this happens, it is important to keep your thoughts straight and not allow negative thoughts provoke you to guilt. When you allow these thoughts to succeed, you become unproductive and go back to your old habits of doing things. Remember, your mental and physical health is more important than what anyone else thinks about you.
Instead, remind yourself by repeating these truths throughout the day:
I am important too.
I am allowed to have fun.
I am doing something healthy by taking care of me.
It's okay if people don't understand or get mad.
What others think is not as important as my health.
Keep Your Cup Full
How can you give anyone anything from an empty cup? It's important to keep your cup replenished at all times! You do this by taking time for yourself and finding enjoyment and fun in life. When you make the choice to balance life by taking care of you, you will have more to give back to others without feeling completely empty when you are done.