You Have a Responsibility to Take Time Out for You

by Anne Marie Esposito, President and Founder, Sparklefly Candle Company, Inc.

Our lives can be super fast paced with all that's involved in taking care of the responsibilities we hold; our families, our friends, our careers, but what about the responsibility you hold to yourself? Without being the strongest you that you can be, you have no chance at accomplishing all that with any level of real enthusiasm. Don't wind up walking through life like a zombie. I know this from personal experience. I was doing it all, working crazy hours, taking care of all of my family's needs, taking on responsibilities that probably could have been shouldered by someone else and hardly taking a moment for me. I put myself last and this was truly a disservice to those that I love. I thought I was loving them by putting them first. I was most definitely WRONG. If you have been following along, that did not work out so great for me physically or mentally and I made a promise in my post It's A New Year, Time to Get That Sparkle Back, that I would be kinder to ME and that I can do anything but I can't do everything.

This kindness to ourselves doesn't have to come at the cost of our love and commitment to others or the achievement of our goals, it is a necessity to regain the momentum each day to attack those moments with refreshed energy. Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries. It's the small stuff that works for me. Usually 20 - 30 minutes of time for JUST ME, my "me time". Here's some ideas that I'd like to share with you:

1. Physical exercise. Hey, look, I am NOT claiming to be the healthiest person in the world but I cannot ignore the many benefits that taking at least 20 minutes to focus on my body has improved my outlook on life and the day ahead. It is something that I do for me and me alone. It makes me feel stronger and more confident which in turn makes me feel more prepared to face the challenges of the day. There is a significant difference in my well being when I fall off the exercise wagon. I don't do it to attain a beach body I do it to attain balance which brings me to...

2. Meditation. Again, I would not consider myself an expert by any means but taking the time to be mindful and to focus on my breath and my thinking, to slow down for a moment, has a profound effect on what I believe I can and do accomplish in a day. 

3. Pampering. I have had the opportunity to come to know some ahhmazing makers in my community that I introduce to you as much as I can through my Spotlight series because their products can transform a hard day into an easy going evening. When you take the time to pamper yourself, you are telling yourself that you are special, you are worth it and you are important. Messages that we all need to reinforce. So, light a candle or put out your favorite Sparkle Stones and pamper yourself with a home facial, a long shower or bath with some awesome smelling bath and body products or a home mani/pedi. Here's what's in my pampering arsenal: Ba6Botanicals Face Peal, practically every product from Scrubz Body, body butter from Rachel's Plan Bee, lip balm from Handcrafted Honey Bee and a variety of the best scented handmade soaps for every mood I can manage to be in and that I can't live without from Comfort and Joy Soap Co., Cloud Nine Soap Co, Alegna Soap, Frontier Angel, and Outlaw Soaps. So, maybe I have a soap obsession, no judging here :)

4.Entertainment. Indulge in that book you've been dying to read or turn up the music and dance, it's your time, how do YOU want to spend your minutes? Watch that cheesy movie again? SURE! Do some crafting? Yes, please. Take a class? OOh fun! Do something that you want to do. And you don't have to do it alone for it to be your time, the difference is, you are doing it because your mind, body and soul needs it, not because you are obligated to fill the wishes of someone else at the moment. 

This may not work for you, you may totally disagree with me and I can accept that, but when I take the time for me every day, I KNOW that I have more time, love, generosity, positivity, awareness and acceptance of those around me. It makes me a better mom, wife, friend, business owner. When I take those 20 minutes for me, I can give out so much more to you.

Please share with me what you do to take time for you and how it makes you feel. I would love to know.