I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. So why is it that we strive to take everything on ourselves? We run ourselves ragged because we feel guilty for not being a Superwoman who can get everything done. You know what I’m talking about – the laundry, the dishes, packing lunches, the cleaning, making dinner, etc. If we don’t get it all done, then what kind of person are we, really?

But does making sure that the dishes are done and that the laundry is folded really reflect on the person who you are? No, no it does not. In the years to come, I’m sure you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who thinks of one of your best qualities as “always having the laundry washed and folded,” or “Boy, she never let a dish sit in the sink.” It sounds ridiculous (at least I think it does), but it seems as though we use the time we have to make sure that mundane tasks are accomplished, and we forget to take care of ourselves, which is really the most important, yet most ignored, task of the day. Is it really more important that the dishes are done rather than spending 30 minutes on yourself to re-energize? No!

Think about it. I’m not saying that you should let your house go to shambles (unless you want it to), but it’s important and absolutely imperative that you get to spend time each and every day doing things that make you feel alive and reenergized. Think about it. When you take time for yourself, you’re more calm, balanced, kind, mentally prepared to face challenges that come your way, and you’re happier and more positive.

Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, yet it’s something that has taken a back seat to the daily tasks that life brings. You only have one life, so you need to make the most of it. Here are some steps to think about when making the commitment to do something for yourself.

Decide on what is truly important to you. What is it that makes you feel alive and excites you? What is something that you’d love to spend your free time doing? What ignites that passion within you and is something you could talk about for hours? That’s what you need to make time for.

Once you decide, you need to make that a priority. Find time to do that thing every day, if possible. You’ll realize that once you start doing that activity, you’ll feel good. You’ll feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated, and you may even remember what you felt like before you had all the responsibilities you do now. You’ll feel like your life is yours again and that you’re in control.

Give up the tasks that get in the way of your “thing.” This may require a little bit of creativity. There are, of course, some tasks you just can’t get rid of. You may need to get up earlier to get some things done. You may need to actually ask for help from friends or family so that you can regain some of your sanity. Perhaps you need to just let go of some activities that aren’t truly necessary. And that’s okay.

Don’t let what others think get in the way. So you’ve decided what is truly important to you. You’ve made it a priority, and you’ve figured out what you can cut out of your schedule to fit it in. But then you become aware of the naysayers and the judgers. Well, guess what? They’re not living your life. They don’t know what makes you feel alive and proud. So it’s best to distance yourself from that negativity, or at least do your best to not pay attention. Some people will get it. They’ll understand why you need to do something for you. And the others? If they don’t get it, it’s really none of your concern. You can’t live your life by someone else’s standards. You can (and should!) spend your time making yourself the best version of you that you can be. It’s your life, so live it the way you want.