Life is Messy. prioritize

Written by Jacquie Heil - May 21, 2018

Give Yourself the Same Exquisite Care You Give To Others

Photo by VisualCommunications/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by VisualCommunications/iStock / Getty Images


To put ourselves first, is not a selfish act.  In fact, self-love and self-care creates a better version of each of us so that we can be more present and engaged in the lives of others.  We are living with extreme amounts of daily stress, more than ever before.  The world requires a great deal of us and a lot of multi-tasking.  Each day we have a multitude of commitments and unexpected events, good news, bad news, a sick family member, a health issue, identity theft or something that completely derails us.  (Boy, we didn’t see that one coming!)

There are lots of wonderful things too like our family celebrations and milestones, recitals, little league games, seeing friends, or volunteering for a wonderful organization, just to name a few.  But it ALL requires our time, attention, and prioritization.  Most of us are in perpetual overload.

Life is messy and it doesn’t quite unfold exactly as we would like!  There are surprises along the way which require us to recalculate our route.  There isn’t any one human amongst us that is exempt from this fact.  While some may appear to be coasting all the time, eventually the inevitable will occur, and there will be some adversity or challenge to face. It’s just part of our human experience.

In order to navigate highs and lows, we need to draw from our internal resources with resilience and fortitude.  That my friend, requires self-care.  Not self-indulgence (although I am a big supporter of self-indulgence here and there), not selfishness, but self-care.  Self-care requires self-love and an understanding of our own unique needs.  Our needs are very different than everybody elses. Our needs are going to change like seasons at different times in our lives.

Do you ask yourself regularly, “What am I doing to take care of myself?  

How do you start your day?  Does your day get sidetracked easily?  How is your mood?  Are you getting enough sleep?  Are you getting out and exercising?  A good indicator of self-care is how you are responding or reacting to the ones around you, namely your kids, your partner, your pet, your co-worker, your sister, your boss, your mother, your neighbor, and the guy driving in the car in front of yours.

We really need to prioritize and give ourselves that time to recharge and decompress from the overload we are each facing.  It’s imperative.  Whenever possible, give yourself permission to opt out of time commitments which are not aligned with your personal values and which do not serve you.  

What can we eliminate? Well, let’s start with anything that drains your energy.  Here are just a few ideas…

o  An unhealthy relationship (friend, family, coworker, etc.)

o  Clutter of any sort (physical, mental)

o  Screen time (bad news, violence, oversaturation, inactivity)

o  Judgement (about ourselves or anybody else)

o  Shopping (do you need all that stuff? Is it life changing? Can you afford it? Is it meaningful and useful?)

o  Social media (we all love it, but how much of it is beneficial?)

Be intentional about your priorities and your pursuits in life.  Freeing yourself up from thirty minutes of scrolling through your social media allows for time to walk in nature and recharge.  Can you find some quiet time in solitude midday to catch your breath, or carve out fifteen minutes at the beginning of your day to try a little meditation?   Can you reduce what is not benefiting you thereby making space for things that do?

I have a single litmus test for everything in my life which I learned from a dear friend.  I ask myself the question:

“Does this fill me up or deplete me?”

I can use this test for anything in my life; my relationships, my work, my activities, travel, and the things I am considering buying.  If I don’t get a resounding yes, I will decline or pass on anything that I am unsure about.  

Each of us can carve out and cultivate some space in our lives, if we just take a little time to evaluate what we are presently doing in contrast to our priorities.  Live your priorities with intention and conviction and be unapologetic about it.  The world will benefit greatly in doing so.