By Jenn Sturiale
That whole circle-of-life thing isn't just for cartoon lions and gazelles; we humans are bound to it just as firmly. As we get older, so do our parents and other loved ones. Difficult as it is to consider, they may one day need our help -- just as we once needed theirs.
The Rumor: Children should always care for their aging parents
Our relationship with our elders can be complex, and sometimes we still carry the burden of familial resentments long past. Our own lives may...
You may think "it's all about me" is selfish. But consider this: Other people benefit from your "me time," too. Do things that feed you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and you'll bring greater patience and a more positive attitude to your relationships. You’ll become a better parent, spouse, and a more effective team player at work.
Take a page from your calendar, literally. Every week, look at your calendar and book some me time.
Can't find an hour to devote to yourself? Even 5-15 minutes can work, if you stick to it.
Don't use the time to fold laundry or catch up on email. It may even seem more stressful at first to leave things undone, but you'll have more energy if you take a little time off.
Where to find the time?
Take advantage of the kids' reading or nap time.
Get up 10 minutes earlier.
Ask your kids (and spouse) to do the dishes.
Turn off the smartphone.
Claim a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon for yourself, even if that means adjusting your family’s schedule.
If 5 minutes is all you've got, you'd be surprised at how much you can make it count.
Just breathe. Really focus on taking deep breaths. Your mind may wander -- that's OK, just gently lead it back from thinking about everything that's on your to-do list.
Stretch. Get up from your desk and energize your muscles.
Do nothing. Sit quietly. Resist the urge to jump up and clear the table or pick up the kids' toys. Let your mind and body rest.
A Few Minutes More
At least once a month, carve out a little more time for yourself -- say 30 minutes to an hour. Get a pedicure. Or a facial. Go somewhere you've never been (a certain museum or a walking trail, perhaps). Write down your dreams and goals in a journal.