Clients often tell me they don’t have time to exercise, plan meals, go to bed at a reasonable hour, or schedule things they enjoy. Is it really about time? After all, everyone has the same number of hours available to use throughout the day and we all have a certain degree of control over how we spend that time.
Do we really have a time shortage?
Let’s say time is not the limiting factor. I know this is possible because given more time, many of us would spend even more time responding to emails, folding laundry, and checking social media.
So what is it really?
It could be that some of our responsibilities are visible, such as grass that is not mowed. Or our roles involve doing something for our children, pets, or our boss and we don’t want to let them down. Or we think we’ll feel more in control of our lives if we pay all of our bills on time.
Even if we can justify the motivation to keep ourselves busy, it doesn’t explain why sometimes our wellbeing doesn’t even make it on the long list of tasks we so capably manage.
So what else is going on?
Looking deeper, often it’s a feeling that we are not worthy enough to make time for ourselves. And that the requirement for attending to ourselves is completing everything else first.
Given all we manage in our lives, that’s a tall order.
Sound familiar? If so, it’s no wonder you don’t always exercise, plan your meals, sleep much, or do fun things! It’s because you’ve made doing these self care activities mean you’re taking time away from other “more important” things that define how worthy you are. So you feel inadequacy, guilt, shame, and frustration.
The bar is too high
No wonder you don’t make yourself a priority! It’s a set-up for failure because who could possibly be on top of all of their tasks, and who would want to experience all of those uncomfortable emotions?
Please don’t beat yourself up about it. It makes perfect sense if that’s how you’re thinking about it.
Of course rationally it doesn’t make sense. We all know every human is born worthy and is worthy for exactly who they are. But when we spend more time mowing the lawn than going for a walk, enjoying our families, or cooking a healthy meal, we are living as if the grass is more important than we are.
You are as worthy as everything else that matters to you
The solution is not to exclusively attend to your well being at the expense of everything else. That’s not going to feel good. The solution is to balance it out so that you are at least on equal par with other things and people that matter to you in your life.
This is key. You are as worthy as everything and everyone else you care about. Period. Spend your time accordingly. And know that everything will not fall apart if you do so.
Avoiding all-or-nothing thinking
Avoiding all-or-nothing thinking is key. You can spend 15 minutes walking around the neighborhood after work AND prepare a good enough dinner for your family – better yet, take your kids or partner on the walk. You can be an excellent employee AND turn off your computer by 8pm – you’ll be more fresh and productive in the morning. And you can maintain a pleasant household AND read a novel for your book group – try an audiobook to make folding laundry less of a burden.
Start with small steps to practice doing this. See what happens. See what’s possible. And build from there. I guarantee your life will be richer for it. And your life will not fall apart.
You deserve it. You ARE worthy. You can do this.
If you’d like to explore the connection between your self worth and your well being, I invite you to reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can book a complimentary session and we’ll explore together. I look forward to connecting with you!