Do you often feel that you don't belong to you? That everybody is getting a part and you are left with the crumbs. If you are ready to carve a piece in the buffet of life for yourself but if the idea frightens you because it seems too big to handle, take heart.

Let's start with one step: STOP EVERYTHING. Cancel all activities, "should's", engagements that are not your work or something that is absolutely necessary for your survival, like eating, bathing (this one is a preferable, not a necessary), and sleeping (very necessary). Yes, you can get the kids to Scouts or ballet, but only if there is absolutely nobody who can do it for you, free or for a fee. Avoid as much as possible to commit to activities unless they are something you really know you will enjoy. This is necessary to give yourself some breathing space. Don't worry, you won't have to do it for a long time. Just enough so that you can sit by yourself and get to know your Self, really know who is behind all that frenzy and activity. Simple, isn't it? Easy? No. Then, how are you going to be able to do it?

You must first decide if you really mean business to put yourself up there in your life. Because, until you actually decide to give your SELF top priority, it simply will not happen. To achieve this, you will have to do things you are probably not very good at just yet: be Self Ish. See how I wrote the word. Being Self Ish in my vocabulary means to be good to your Self. Selfish has a bad reputation. Rightly so. We have all met those who only think of themselves, never consider other people's feelings or needs, seem to do a lot of navel gazing and are generally not nice to other people. On the other hand, we have also met the people who are always nice to others, who never seem to want anything for themselves, or have an opinion. They only want to please and be loved in return. Except that they often end up angry, resentful or depressed. They wonder why nobody seems to appreciate all they do. These individuals are not very attractive either.

So what is the solution? Making a commitment to respect your wonderful Self. Then taking one action each day to honour the way you take care of your Self: physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually.

Here are some ways I take care of myself: I leave for any appointment, even work, fifteen minutes early to avoid feeling rushed (when I travel by air, I leave plenty of time); I make sure I go out at lunch, for a 20-30 minutes walk or even a drive in the car, listening to music. I eat when I return. I bring nutritious lunches, every day. I budget carefully. I go for a walk in nature or a swim in the lake on the weekend. I don't smoke. I drink very little alcohol. I'm working on taking time to shower and change before making dinner. What are some of the ways you can take better care of your Self?

What is it all about? The trick is to learn to slow down. Lily Tomlin said it well: "For fast acting relief, try slowing down." Once you have slowed down, you will be in a better place to know what you really need and want.

Author's Bio: 

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.

Personal & Professional Coach