Now that I am older, I do not sweat the small stuff anymore. Here are six important things I learned in life.
Take care of yourself. After all, you are the only one who knows how you want to be taken care of. No one is going to come out of the blue offering you facials, gives you yoga sessions, buys you beautiful clothes and makeup take you to a nice holiday, or sends you to lunch with your girlfriends. Only you know all these things. Even husbands and boyfriends are clueless. Although taking care of yourself does not have to be expensive. It could be as simple as reading that book that you have been wanting to read but never had the time, or taking a day off work not because you have to but because you just want to laze around the house and do nothing. Listen to your body, it tells you when to take a break. Once you have taken care of yourself, you are in a better position to take care of the people around you. As they say, take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place.
Spend more time with people who matter most, your family. With this, I mean putting down your phone, the iPad or the laptop and really talk, without distractions. We used to bring the iPad every time we ate out, but I found that while we are waiting to be served, the husband and I are on our phones and the little girl is on the iPad. No talking involved. It was not very ideal. So now, I make it a point that we put the phone away, leave the iPad at home and utilise the Kiddie packs that the restaurants provide. This way, the little girl gets to be creative with coloring and writing while the husband and I get to catch up.
Prioritise friendships. I am not best friends with everyone. I am choosy when it comes to letting people into my circle. I cannot be best friends with someone whom I am not comfortable with. If I can let my guard down with someone, where I can be just me when I am with them then there is a big chance we can be good friends, best friends even. Stay away from people who do not make you feel good about yourself. I do not like negativity or drama. As they say, the fewer friends you have, the less drama. So keep your circle small. Once you find your own small circle, make sure to spend time with those people and nurture your friendship. As per experience, laughter with friends always takes the stress away.
Be happy with what you have. I used to know a couple who were trying too hard to have a second child. The wife was so desperate and unhappy every time she talked about not being pregnant again. I could not fathom why instead of being happy and grateful for having their only child in front of her, she chose to be sad and long for another one that she could not have. Happiness is what you make it, people!
Learn to say no. If trying to make everyone around you happy by saying yes to everything they ask of you is stressing you out and eventually making you unhappy, then it is time to say no. No explanations. No excuses.
Lastly, do whatever makes you happy. Take holidays. If it means booking a spur of the moment Eurostar trip to Paris or as simple as snuggling all day under the duvet with a book or a movie, do it if it is what makes you happy. You heart will thank you for it.
This post first appeared on The Stage Mommy.
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