I have a tendency to put others first. Whether it’s helping my parents with chores, my sister with piano, or even hanging out with friends, I try to be there for people. Even if that means putting off the things that I want to get done. However, sometimes some “me time” can be really important.
Recently, my life has felt pretty crazy. It’s felt like I’ve been going from one thing to the next, with Tae Kwon Do, piano lessons, percussion meetings, marching band, and church activities. With all of this going on, I still had to find time to get my work done, and for a week or so, my schedule was kind of hectic. I wanted to go to all of my activities, get my work done, and still have time to hang out with my friends.
I quickly discovered that while this was absolutely possible, I didn’t really like it. I didn’t enjoy the feeling of rushing around, always thinking of where I had to go next. I wanted to be able to appreciate each activity that I was taking part in, and not just hurry from one to the other.
One particular day, I went to church from about nine thirty in the morning to three in the afternoon, helping out with Vacation Bible School preparations. At three, my mom picked me up, and took me to my piano lesson at three fifteen. After forty-five minutes, I went home to eat dinner and get ready for Tae Kwon Do at six-fifteen. As I was getting ready, I got a text from some of my friends that said they wanted to meet up and have a bonfire. For a moment, I considered asking my mom to drop me off at my friends out after Tae Kwon Do at eight, but then I realized that I didn’t want to go.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hang out with my friends. I did want to see my friends, but I did not want to go anywhere else that night. In an instant, I realized that what I wanted most was to get home, shower, and go to bed. I didn’t want to let my friends down, but I really just wanted to have some time to relax, and some time to myself. So, I decided to put myself first, and stay home. As it turns out, my friends ended up not having the bonfire anyway, so it all worked out in the end.
I felt kind of guilty telling my friends that I wasn’t going to be there. I felt like I was letting them down, and I didn’t want to do that. Sometimes, seeing my friends when I’m stressed can help me relax, and remind me that I don’t have to get everything done at once. But other times, I have to admit to myself that I need some time to myself in order to relax and unwind.
Taking personal time isn’t a bad thing. We all have those days where we just need an hour before we go to bed, or fifteen minutes while we eat lunch, or even just a few minutes when we wake up in the morning. Taking that time isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. After all, we can’t help others if we don’t first help ourselves.
Never be afraid to take some time for yourself. There are going to be days where you feel overwhelmed, and want to do everything, but can’t. There are going to be days where you go from one thing to the next, always rushing around. Just remember, that one these days, it is perfectly okay to say, “Me first!”. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”