7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Me Day" - Why All Women Should Have One

Ask just about any mom or woman in general how much time they spend on self and you would not be surprised that the answer would be minimal. Women tend to take on the role of the Sea Captain wherein if the ship goes down, the Captain is the last to abort. In fact, we will go a step further to say that I must be all to everyone, at all times, and at any costs, so that this ship stays afloat. This is a very noble mindset; however, in our wearing of many hats, it is difficult for us to come to grips with the reality that sometimes it is OK to let someone else steer or just simply put that baby on auto and take time out to regroup for self preservation is the first law of survival.

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Like many other women, mothers, and wives, I was the one who worked until exhaustion and put everyone on the priority list except the most import person…me. As a result, I gained 212 pounds on my 5’1’’ frame and size 6 shoe. I had maybe three outfits that I could comfortably fit. I was miserable, and since I spent so much time, energy, and money on everyone else, the only reward I could give myself was food. Food was my refuge and my companion. It was cheap and oh so satisfying. Not only did I gain weight, but I also lost my sense of self. I lost who I was because I gave so much of myself to everyone else. I developed hypertension and was prescribed medication at the age of 25 as a result of my weight gain, diet, and stress. My daily task work included a 9-5 job, wife, mother of three, and a full-time college student. As soon as I hit the door from my 9-5, I would bolt straight into the kitchen (with groceries in hand from my daily shopping routine) and start cooking. By the end of the day (which often ended some time after midnight), I was exhausted, but everything and everyone was taken care of, except…me. This was my routine for several years until one day I saw what my life had become. My life was not my own and I wondered where on the road did I go left. It wasn't my husband’s fault. It wasn't the children’s fault. It was my fault. My duties as a woman, wife, mother, and student were not to blame at all. In fact, these are the characteristics of a good and honorable woman; however, if we are not good to ourselves, we are no good to anyone else.

Where did I go left? I discovered that I was the Sea Captain that had no qualms with being the last to abort the ship, but I failed to take much needed time out for self. Even the Captain must take a break or the consequence will be extreme fatigue and a guaranteed failed mission, possibly even the loss of lives. In the past, I hardly ever spent time with family and friends, went to the hair or nail salon, or just took a walk alone. Yes, alone! That is a strange concept for most women especially moms. It wasn't until recently that I heard the term “Me Day”. A good friend of mine taught me this term. She is a wife and mother of four and she is faithful and committed to her special day. A “Me Day” is a special day carved out and devoted specifically to you and your sanity! I’m being humorous, but research has shown that there are many benefits to taking time out for self.

In an article posted by Woman’s Day titled, “8 Reasons to Schedule “Me” Time” by Brynn Mannino, some benefits include:
  • enjoying your own company
  • making you a better decision make
  • helping you get a better night’s sleep
  • improving your focus
  • helping you achieve your goals
  • broading your intellectual horizons

This is especially helpful for moms. In an article titled, “Taking a Me-Day” on Psychologytoday.combyAmy Przeworski, Ph.D, Dr. Przeworski took a survey among 17 of her friends of who were parents and found that 70.6 percent said they took a me-day once every few months or never.
After my self realization experience, I decided to take action and change my course before my personal ship sank. I lost 80 pounds with proper diet and exercise, I changed my direction and steered toward the course of fulfilling my purpose working with youth and starting my own business. My hypertension is now diet controlled and I no longer need medication. I devote more time for self improvement and managing my own well being. I have learned to delegate and I have also learned to let go and the “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done right” philosophy need not apply to every situation. The most important thing is to do something to take time and regroup. There is a saying that “If Mama aint happy, nobody is happy”. This is actual fact. A “Me Day” can be anything from a day of pampering to a simple walk or ride on your bike. It is whatever you want to make it because it is your day. The key is to do it and stay committed. Whatever you chose, be sure that it is conducive to your mental and physical well-being.

Make yourself a priority and you will begin to see dramatic improvements in your mental and physical well-being. Enjoy YOU and start today with planning your “Me Day”.

Ebonye X-Potter is Owner of Kemestrē Body Care, a natural and holistic approach to skincare incorporated; also, Founder and Executive Director of Seed To Save, Inc. youth outreach organization in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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