Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Taking Time for Me" Series: Women Do Too Much!

photo by chronowizard 
Ladies! Take some Time for Yourselves.       P-L-E-A-S-E
Why are women working so hard? Why does our day start before anyone else's and end way after everyone has gone to bed? Blogger and certified massage therapist Carrie Burgan knows from running her massage business that woman are putting themselves last on the care list.

This is the last of 3 sponsored guest posts in the series "Taking Time for Me" where Carrie shares tips on loving our bodies.  So ladies, put down that iPhone and Blackberry and discover how to stop working so hard and to take time for yourself... 

Women do too much. Wait, did I just make an understatement?
Women are focused on their children, their spouses, their jobs, their household, their aging parents, their friends and their after-work commitments. It’s fair to say that women are challenged to find balance between these responsibilities and somehow eek out a few minutes of precious time for themselves. If you’re like me, you’re saying, “Time for myself? What?”

It’s true that there are still only 24 hours in a day. Despite the challenges to taking time to rest and recuperate, it can be done. In fact, it’s vital to your health and well-being to take time for you! The American Heart Association says, “More and more evidence suggests a relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and environmental and psychosocial factors.”¹ Negative stressors from overloaded schedules keep our body on “high alert” and does not allow the body to enter a “rest and repose” mode, which allows for our bodies to heal and our energy stores to restore.²

With an ounce of foresight you too can gain a satisfying chunk of “me time” that will leave you refreshed and ready to conquer another day. Here are some ways to carve out a few precious minutes of time:

Schedule “daddy day” with the kids. How long has it been since your kids had an entire “date day” with their dad (or grandma or aunt or other relative)? In 2010 our kids and other family members are also overscheduled and could use some old-fashioned “quality time” with each other. This will leave you with a few, glorious hours of time to yourself. If dad gets protective of his “me time,” let him know you’d love to reciprocate next weekend. Sometimes give and take goes a long way!

photo by Method Fitness
Book a massage. Have you had a one-hour vacation lately? If you have the time, you can schedule a massage or other spa services to indulge in delicious “me time”… and be happier and healthier for it! Long-known as a way to indulge and relax, massage therapy can also help you therapeutically to work on imbalances in your muscles. Patterns of wear from repetitive motions, like working at a computer or carrying a child on a hip, can cause imbalances, which massage therapy can help. Many massage therapists will also integrate bonuses like aromatherapy or hot stones into their services. If you can’t drive to a spa or office but you can make time and space at home, many therapists will make house calls so you never have to leave the comfort of your home!

photo by Rally Pix
Call your friends. If a book club sounds like too much work, you don’t have the cash for shop-at-home parties and going to the bar isn’t your thing, call a friend or two and host a mini-potluck with wine or cocktails at home. It doesn’t take much time or money to crash someone else’s pad for a couple of hours for good, old-fashioned girl-talk, food, and perhaps a movie. If more than one person has children, consider hiring a local sitter to watch them in a basement or another room so that the ladies can just relax and unwind.

Take a personal day. No, don’t lie and call in sick, but remember that your vacation time is meant to be taken! When people don’t take vacation time they don’t have enough time to decompress and refocus. Not taking paid time off can also lead to presenteeism, or coming to work even when you should be home. This can lead to poor productivity and set you into a funk. If you have personal days, vacation days, or “paid time off,” take it! Schedule a half-day when the family will be away in order to book some me-time. If you don’t have paid time off or you work from home or are a stay-at-home mom, ask a friend to watch your children for three or four hours and then offer to reciprocate next week.

Hire helpers. The most beautiful chores are the ones you don’t have to do yourself! Each spring, my husband and I gift ourselves a “spring cleanup.” By hiring a local high school student to clean out the gutters, rake leaves, and do general spring clean-up, we saves two or three hours of work for us and the student does a fantastic job while earning extra money. If you don’t trust your neighborhood kids to get the job done, there are a lot of fabulous local, small business owners who are aching for the chance to serve you. (And you may save money by doing business locally… Small business owners can usually beat large company prices!) You gain several hours of “you” time and you support the local economy.

This is the last post of the series "Taking Time for Me" and I hope everyone enjoyed it.  Please visit Carrie at the links below to continue this healthy conversation.  A link to this 3 part series has been added to the Best of FREEISMYLIFE page under the Health and Fitness section.

Click here to read the entire "Taking Time for Me" Series

¹Stress and Heart Disease. American Heart Association:
²Massage: Get in touch with its many health benefits. Mayo Clinic.

Carrie Burgan, owner of Revolve Massage Therapy, is a nationally certified massage therapist, natural health enthusiast, and self-proclaimed "lover of life" in the Metro Detroit area. She feels that although worn down by time, stress and the environment, we can take care to maintain the temples we have been given - our bodies! She is also available for private parties, events, and to speak to your groups about massage. Find out more at

Find out more about Carrie on Twitter at @TheGirlBurgan and on Facebook at RevolveMassage where she announces special deals and freebies on her massage services.

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