Having “no time” has become a constant excuse among all of us, be it for something as frivolous as a lunch date with friends or as important as exercise. We have no time to spend with loved ones, to watch that film or read that book we have been wishing too since months. To declutter the cupboards, to call that aunt who asks after us all the time, or even to simply put our feet up. There is no time. Or is this just something we console ourselves with, on missing out on certain things. This could actually our way of telling ourselves, “I have more important things to do.”
- Being too busy is an excuse we use too often, especially when it comes to self-care.
- Is this just an excuse we console ourselves with?
- Or is it just that we prioritise other things over ourselves and our individual needs?
- Instead of expecting others to take out time for you, why not do it for yourselves?
Ironically, the worst hit by this lack of time in our schedule is, well, us.
We may manage to haggle out a dinner date with the family or put through a call to a long lost friend who needs our time and attention. This is especially true for women, who are taught since childhood to be sacrificial, to put others’ needs before their own. Almost every woman I meet is up to her ears in chores and when she says, she has no time, I do believe her because self-care is not seen as a priority. In fact, it is seen as indulgent and self-centered.
This is why us women often end up pushing self-care, and what is increasingly being known as “me-time” further down the to-do list. The truth is we have time, it is just that we choose to prioritise certain things over others. There is always time to work, to do the laundry, to ensure kids have done their homework, to cook meals and to go grocery shopping. These are essential chores, and one simply has to make time for them. And then since we live in the digital age, we must find time to spend on networking; yet another essential for modern day existence.
We all seek attention and care from others, and we immerse ourselves in caring for others, but alas, we seldom have time for that one person for whose lifelong well-being rests solely on our individual shoulders – us!
However, can we all swear by the fact that we are indeed too busy for things, which aren’t an immediate priority? If something is indeed important to us, don’t we find time for it anyhow? So doesn’t this mean that you are ‘too busy’ to exercise, to read a book, to play with your kids or to meditate, clearly you don’t think these things are important to you? This is the question I found myself face to face with, when I was asked, why are you not your own priority? We all seek attention and care from others, and we immerse ourselves in caring for others, but alas, we seldom have time for that one person for whose lifelong well-being rests solely on our individual shoulders – us! We are almost never our own top priority. We rely on our loved ones to care for us, as we do for them, and when that doesn’t happen, these unfulfilled expectations affect our mental well-being.
So before you expect someone else to prioritise you, do it for yourself. Spend time doing things which give you happiness and fulfilment. It doesn’t have to a grand gesture like gifting yourself a solo vacation, although go for it if you can. It can be something as trivial as reading a book for an hour every Sunday afternoon or having a long walk whenever you feel low. It can also be something routine, like meditating or exercising for 30 minutes daily, or making a salad just for yourself, even if no other members of the household want to eat it.
Spending time on yourself shouldn’t feel like a wastage, and it won’t if we truly begin to believe that we are special and we deserve to be prioritised, especially in our own lives.
Picture Credits: Shape Magazine
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.