Gift Giving: Why is it so hard to give a gift to ourselves?

The house is a mess.  There sits the growing pile of laundry and the dog hasn’t been fed.  Your laptop lies open on the kitchen island, and your unfinished work briefing is beckoning you to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.  “Screw the gym – I better stay home and get things in order” you think to yourself while sorting the darks from whites. 

Like you, most modern women are pulled in many different directions, as they juggle responsibilities from both their personal and professional lives – always seeking to find ‘balance’ and to live within the bounds of moderation.  We can have it all but just not at the same time, right?  But what if there was a way to ease the pressure?  What if there was a way we could tap into an inner reservoir and capitalize on latent energy?  

Many of us suffer from accepting too much responsibility.  Do we really have too much to do or are we trying to do too much?  For many women, taking time to ourselves is laced with guilt.  Psychologists and self-help authors have made a mint over analyzing this predicament, yet we continue on the path to self-exhaustion.  

As soon as we recognize the unhealthy cycle of saying “yes” to too much responsibility we can assert ourselves in ways that honor our deepest passion and purpose. Get started today by giving yourself the gift of peace, the gift of satisfaction and fulfillment.  Gift yourself the time you need to tap into your inner reservoir and harness that latent potential that is lying dormant in your soul! 

  1. Take some time away:  For women on a tight budget time away may be as simple as renting a nice room at a local hotel for a night away – just to get away from it all, order room service, watch a chick flick or enjoy peace and quiet!  For women who have some time and small savings to invest, you might consider a women’s conference & celebration, such as We Move Forward – a gathering of women held on The Island of Women, Isla Mujeres, Mexico March 5-8, 2013.  We Move Forward is for women who value living life with passion and purpose.  Daily speakers motivate and group discussions and mindful movement sessions will have you harnessing inspiration and shifting it into meaningful action when you get home.
  2. Take a simple break:  Schedule time to hang with your gal pals.  Make sure that you are logging time with friends who are positive; friends who are in your cheering section, supporting you to be your best you; friends that offer support during moments of doubt and despair.  Try and steer clear of friends who are high maintenance – you know the ones; they leave you feeling drained rather than re-charged.    
  3. Take as long as it takes:  Find a peaceful spot and be quiet.  Sit down in a comfy chair, sway in the breeze of a swinging hammock, fold up into a yoga pose and meditate.  Whatever it takes, and for however long it takes, take time to get all the “noise” inside your brain to exhaust itself so that new and creative ideas can surface.  
  4. Take guilt head-on:  Banishing guilt is one of the trickiest parts of self care, as many of us have been socialized to let guilt guide our actions.  But guilt can be banished – when it rears its head, take it on head-on!  This can be done by repeating a healthy mantra that gives you permission to “let go of guilt.”  Personally, when I am feeling guilty I repeat the mantra “I am deserving”.  I will repeat this as many times as necessary to allow myself to be or do what I am engaged in minus the feeling of guilt.  The mantra itself isn’t nearly as important as whether or not it is effective, so play around with different mantras until you find one that resonates with you.  

So, what gift will you give your deserving self today? 

Katie Milton is a blogger living in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  She credits the We Move Forward conference with giving her courage to act in the face of fear.  More information about We Move Forward can be found here:  www.wemoveforward.com