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Wed 22 Oct 2014 03:31 PM

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Prioritising “me”

Why not getting buried in a pile of chores, goals, obligations and to-do lists isn't such a bad thing, says Salma Awwad

Prioritising “me”

Buried in a pile of chores, goals, obligations and to-do lists, I frequently find myself forgetting the most important thing of all: me.

In the haze of the daily morning rush, followed by a sequence of anticipated events, it’s sometimes easier to switch into autopilot and “Just do it”, as Nike would say. But not this morning. This morning I stare at my reflection in the mirror and declare this to be my first “me” day. Actually, let’s make that “me” week while we’re at it.

I will do whatever my little heart desires and pay attention to all the seemingly frivolous things that bring me happiness; resurrect them from the back of the dusty shelves where they have been left neglected.

I call this my “psychological break” where I am still expected to carry my daily obligations, while finding a way to stay mentally free.

No getting out of my way for anyone, finding the time to pamper myself, and above all, not expecting too much of myself and thereby eliminating any unwanted pressure throughout the week.  

Yes, in plain English, it is now high time to be a little, dare I say it… selfish.

But not in the negative connotation that everyone associates it with. I wonder why this word got such a bad reputation in the first place.

As long as you are doing no harm to others, remain courteous, and stay safely outside the realm of narcissism, I’d say paying more attention to yourself, your health and happiness is a good thing.

Be daring, be fearless, be shamelessly confident and iridescent. I’m not quite sure how you can achieve that last one, but just do it. (Side note: It probably has to do with a sense of glowing happiness.) Everything is possible, in one way or the other. If you desire it, you will achieve it and it’s completely within your control.

It only takes a single thought and a sense of desire. This is my moment of revelation, and the top of my priority list is giving myself a confidence boost.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit,” wrote E.E. Cummings.

Taking control of your self-confidence can come in the form of getting to know yourself better, photoshoping your self-image, killing negative thoughts or speaking slower and simply taking your time.

Taking your time to think, act, react and respond, especially to those oh-so-nagging “last seen at” WhatsApp messages.

Find the time to explore what it is that defines you today and brings you happiness, then live them. That is, after all, the greatest confidence booster of all.

“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarised in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably,” The great Walt Disney once said. I couldn’t agree more.

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Mark Renton 5 years ago

This column seems to make a regular feature of passing off glib, one-size-fits-all advice as great wisdom.

I am particularly intrigued by the idea of finding "me time" whilst still "carrying my daily obligations". Perhaps it might be the case that those people who encounter difficulty in making "me time" do so precisely because of the level of their daily obligations?

For those who have plenty of spare time on their hands it must be truly wonderful just to decide that today is a "me day (or week)".

For the rest of us, balancing the demands of work and the demands of family, "me time" is something that is either grabbed when a spare moment happens to come up, or a major undertaking planned well in advance (e.g. holidays).

Case in point - I indulged myself writing this in a few unplanned minutes that I happen to have had spare whilst waiting for a colleague to give me the information I need to finish the report that MUST be submitted today, whether I fancy a bit of me time or not.