I have noticed a trend with my clients over the past couple weeks. Many of them are working really hard to hit goals and get so many things done. They are working towards several results at all cost, even when it comes to their own health and well being.

STOP IT!!!!

You can’t keep putting in extra time with your business and your family and your volunteerism and everyone else by taking time away from yourself. It is going to hurt your clients and your family and yourself in the long run.

When we fly and the crew is going through the emergency procedures before takeoff, they always tell us that if the oxygen masks are released, to put your own mask on FIRST before helping small children you may be traveling with. Why is this? Because if you don’t, you won’t be much help to anyone else. You have to take care of your immediate needs so you can be the one helping people and not the one needing help!

When you’re a Realtor, or business owner, and a parent, and participant in the many other things you are involved in, it seems like people are pulling you in different directions each day. At work, you face constant demands from your clients, and you expect that. However, the demands don’t stop once you’re at home.

Contrary to what some might think, carving out some “me time” isn’t selfish. If you don’t take some time to clear your head, you’ll be more frazzled and less able to help both your clients and your family. Take time for yourself! As a coach, my clients know I ask them every session about “Self-Care!”

Some Ideas for Self-Care

You need to find “ME” time or “Self-Care” everyday. You also need to plan bigger self-care items on a weekly or monthly or even yearly basis.

So what should you do daily? The most important thing is to do something that you enjoy, but also something that will allow you to clear your mind and relax. To ease into the relaxation frame of mind, try taking a long bubble bath with candles and soft music. Let your mind drift, and don’t worry about planning next week’s schedule. Other relaxing things to try could be taking a walk, reading a book, or trying meditation. The main thing is to do whatever helps you recharge.

It is also important to do “bigger things” for yourself on a weekly or monthly or even yearly basis such as getting a massage or facial, having a manicure or pedicure, going out to lunch with a friend who is positive and will help you recharge. I have a friend like that who is “sunshine” and recharges me every time I meet with her. Which of your friends do that for you? Make the time to spend with them. It will be worth it. By taking an hour out of your day every two weeks to go to lunch with someone who builds you up, you will find that you are even more productive once you are back to that to-do list.

And don’t forget those big yearly events such as a spa weekend with girlfriends, or annual night with the girls going to a play or special performance. It is important to have these special things to look forward to that you do just for you.

Anything that is really important to you should be on your schedule and not just on your to-do list. So put this self-care on your schedule daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.

Take Advantage of That Relaxed Feeling

It can be hard to keep your mind off your schedule while trying to relax, but you can take advantage of your peaceful relaxation time to do some stress-free planning. After your bath or walk, before you rejoin your office or family, sit down and tackle your to-do list for the rest of the day or week. With your mind clear, you’ll be able to be more organized. Make sure when you plan your schedule, you include as much “me-time” as you can. I feel that an hour a day is a minimum. Your family and your clients will love the more cheerful, relaxed you!

My coach told me once, a few years ago, “How can you keep giving and giving, filling up other people’s cup, if you never stop and refill yours? You won’t have much left to give. If you would stop and refill, think of how much more you would be able to give and how much easier it would be.” That really hit me hard. Now, I make sure that not only am I the first thing on my to-do list, but that that time is scheduled – and is sacrosanct – every day!

How about you? What are you going to do to begin putting YOU first on your list?