Breaking to breathe 

Life is exhausting. With school, jobs, sports activities, errands, and a myriad of other activities, there always seems there’s something to do. With the constant rush of life and wide range of interests everyone has, it seems that the thing we always seem to forget is to take care of ourselves. 

Lately, more than ever, I’ve learned the importance of putting myself first. I find there’s continually confusion between being self-centred and putting yourself first. I’ve discovered that for sanity’s sake, it is essential to put myself first. This does not mean I neglect my loved ones when they need me, or ignore my obligations such as work and household chores. Putting myself first just means I make sure to make time for myself. I make sure I set time aside to do things I love just for myself. 

Doing these things, whatever they may be, allow me to stay grounded and satisfied and avoid becoming overwhelmed. It did take a while to get to this point and be accepting of it and not feel guilty for it. At first when I decided to make time for myself I felt guilty as if I was letting down others or my other responsibilities. With time, bit by bit, I became able to do things for myself and simply feel pleased for doing them. Gradually now, I’m becoming more able to relax and unwind when I need me time and win this, give my full attention to other tasks I undertake without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. 

For myself, reading and working out are my main outlets for relaxation. I found a vintage bookstore by my home and since then I’ve bought enough books to start my own library. Every day, I give myself even just twenty minutes to read and enter into the world I’m reading about. It’s my own literary oasis. I’ve also become more invested in my fitness regime. I definitely concur with Elle Woods that exercise gives you endorphins. Working out is that weird contradiction where during your workout you feel absolutely wretched but upon completing your workout you feel stronger, more powerful, and incredibly accomplished. 

Whether me time is reading a magazine, dancing in your kitchen to your favourite song, going for a run, or any number of countless activities, just be sure to make time for yourself. In doing so your work and family life will improve, you’ll feel more alert and fulfilled, and your mind and body will be ever so thankful. 

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