Creating Space for You by Suzie Sandoval

Think of the one thing that you know would make the most difference in your life; the thing that you never quite get around to doing. Maybe it’s finding more time to reflect, maybe it’s delegating a responsibility, maybe it’s fixing your filing system and getting your desk cleared. You know it would help, but you never quite get around to doing it.

The #1 thing women tell me they know would make the most difference in their life is self-care. It seems simple. The concept is simple. If it’s really so simple, then Why is it so difficult to make space for self-care?

We know logically, that if we’re on an airplane and an oxygen mask drops down, we’re asked to put our mask on first before assisting anyone else. Yet, for generation after generation, has seen the model that taking caring of others first is what is expected as the social norm.

When we help ourselves first, we become empowered, inspiring and influential. Self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, but it is also the easiest to forget as we associate our identities with more immediate responsibilities.

When asked, “Why is it difficult to make time for self care in your life?” women I’ve interviewed responded with:

• I feel guilty taking time for myself when I know there are so many things that I need to get done first.
• When I take time for myself I almost don’t know what to do with myself
• I don’t have a place that I can get away from my responsibilities
• I don’t have the time, I’m too busy.
• Helping others comes more easily that taking time for myself.

For years I put other people first in my life; I finally came to a realization I was sacrificing myself all along. Putting others first made me feel happy, but over time I realized I was resentful, depleted of energy and lonely. I didn’t realize how much I was contributing to the very problem that was causing my hidden misery. Putting others first took a toll on my self-esteem and sense of worthiness over the years. Finally I had had enough. And this is where the huge shifts in my life and my relationships began to change.

It wasn’t until I made time, and a personal commitment to my relationship with myself, that the relationships with the people, places, and things in my life became healthier, happier, authentic and more supportive.

How Do You Create Space For You?

Self-care is about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do activities that nurture you. Self-care is about providing proper care for yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.

For those of us who spend time helping and caring for others, we often neglect our own needs and we end up “running on empty” when we don’t take the time to re-fuel.

Women need to balance daily responsibilities with activities that bring a sense of peace and well being to their minds and bodies. Women, who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have low self-esteem and feel resentment. The mere definition of self-care is honoring you as a worthwhile person who is valuable, competent and deserving.

3 Simple Ways To Create Space For You:

1) Block out non-negotiable time in your schedule that you set aside for you. This time is uninterrupted and distraction free. Many women don’t have a single place in their home for this, so I’d suggest going to a nearby park or sitting in your car. Most importantly, make yourself a priority by blocking time out for yourself. Begin a morning and/or evening self-care ritual to that honors your needs and commit to this practice regularly.

2) Do what naturally makes you feel good. Often times we can make time for ourselves but when that time comes, we easily replace it with something else. Pay attention to what makes you feel good and do that. Make a list of 30 things you naturally enjoy.

3) Identify your greatest self care needs. It is important to free your mind of all of the clutter clogging your clarity and peace of mind. If you lack the proper rest and sleep, a nap may be your greatest self-care need. If you need to connect with who you are beyond your daily roles of being a mother, manager, wife and etc. trying something you’ve never done but have always wanted to, would be a great way to honor your uniqueness.

Reflection Questions:

1. How would self-care most benefit you in your life?
2. What kind of self-care activities are you willing and ready to create space for?

Resources For Creating Space For You

o The Women’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden
o Loving What Is by Byron Katie
o Brain Synch Meditations by Kelley Howell
o The Artists Way by James Cameron
o Creating Your Sacred Space Activity by Suzie Sandoval

Meet Suzie Sandoval, also known as “The Clutter Clairvoyant.” She is a nationally recognized organizing expert, soul coach, inspirational speaker and founder of OrganiZEN®.