Written by Hanna Morrell of Broken and Hopeful:
I can’t tell you how many women I talk to who just seem to be holding on by a thread. They manage to do so much in a day, and yet always feel as if it isn’t enough.
The kids and husband need something, the house needs to be cleaned, the dinner needs to be made, and let’s not even talk about work or any extracurricular activities. It’s exhausting! The to-do lists just run out along in front of us like never-ending rivers of judgment.
There’s nothing wrong with lists, but we forget that we get to be in charge of them — and that we get to add things related to self-care to them! I’ve been taking Crystal’s “15 Days to a Healthier You” course, and already on Day #2, I am being profoundly reminded of how I forget to take care of myself so that I can take care of all those who rely on me.
Self-care is something we easily push aside as a last priority when we have so much else to do, and our culture of busyness promotes this idea that we should always be running on fumes. Those fumes give out eventually, though, and I watch so many women slip into depression, anger, frustration, and coping just to get through.
It doesn’t have to be this way, ladies! The to-do lists don’t need to be thrown out, but they do need to be triaged a little.
Taking time to feed your soul, to care for your body, to stimulate your mind, and to pursue your passions are all necessary for you to really live and not just exist. If you do not promote these things as vital for your life and for your family, you will fade until you cannot recognize yourself anymore.
This is not selfishness. This is realizing that you as a person have room to be who you are intended to be.
This is how you will teach your children to be more than just performers on the world’s stage but actual participants in the lives they are given and choosers in what they want to be. This is how you remind your husband of the woman he married before the struggle of maintaining all the standards that have choked her.
And really, I think that’s what a lot of the to-do lists boil down to—what does the world expect of me, and how can I reach this crazy expectation?
So, will you please, for your sake and those you love, examine that to-do list you have for tomorrow and ask yourself if you have included a little time for soaking in and building up who you are as an individual?
Maybe it’s a couple of pages of a book you’ve been dying to read, or a workout that lets your mind breathe, or a bubble bath instead of pursuing something that can wait for one more day.
Yes, we have a lot on our plate as women, but our to-do lists don’t own us! We get to tell them what to do, so be the boss!
Remind yourself of who you are and give yourself a little bit of time tomorrow to be that person. Your family and friends will notice and rejoice in the return of the person you forgot.
You will be able to move through the hard things of the day remembering that you are pursuing much bigger goals than just cleaning house, punching hours on a clock, or making a meal. This self-care gives added importance actually to those small tasks.
You are an amazing woman who is created to be so individual and unique, and to share that gift with the world around her.
Hannah Morrell is a pastoral counselor who runs a nonprofit called Broken & Hopeful to offer Christian pastoral discipleship and counseling. She blogs to encourage and uplift at BrokenandHopeful.com.
Are you finding it easy to lose yourself in the never-ending lists of to-do’s each day? Here are a few posts you might find helpful: