Josie Richardson was surprised when her dentist suggested she get braces. Although she'd always been embarrassed by her overlapping teeth, at 46 she'd resigned herself to her imperfect smile. But when the dentist pointed out that it was more than just a cosmetic issue -it's harder to clean between crooked teeth -Richardson, a jewelry designer in Boca Raton, FL, signed on for the mouthful of hardware normally associated with teens. Indeed, soon after, she and her 14-year-old son became a matched pair...
"There's a tremendous amount of stress and pressure put on women: being parents, being daughters, mothers, wives, professionals. All of these roles combined leave many of us not taking adequate care of ourselves -- which is what sustains us and gives us the energy to take care of all these other responsibilities that we have," says Randy Kamen Gredinger, a Wayland, MA, psychologist and life coach specializing in women's issues.
Whether you're wrangling toddlers, sleeplessly waiting for your teen to come home, caring for your aging parents -- or all of the above -- every woman needs an occasional break for sanity's sake. This means taking time each day to do something for yourself.
But how can you make it happen?
Make Yourself a Priority
First, realize how important it is.
"I've been talking to women about this for years, and we seem to have trouble even feeling like we're worthy of being put on our own list of priorities," says Amy Tiemann, author of Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family and founder of Mojomom.com.
"If you can't do it because you feel like you deserve it, look at it this way: You are a first responder. An emergency can come up at any time, and you should be as well rested and restored as you'd want your ER doc or EMT to be," Tiemann says. "And besides, taking care of yourself will make you a better parent and partner. You'll be more fun to be around and more responsive to your family."
OK, so you're convinced. It's time to take time for you. Now, when can you fit it in? Don't wait for the time to just magically appear. It won't.