Trust yourself. Love yourself.

Lately I’ve rediscovered the little stresses that come with the hustle of city life. Crowds. Lines. Aggravation. Lack of sorries. Excess of excuses. It made me realize I need to find more moments to relax. breathe. Re-evaluate.

I’ve also reached a point of social exhaustion. With the influx of friends and friends of friends visiting from around the world in the last few weeks, I haven’t found a moment to stop and just be. Even the few minutes off from running around or doing work have involved the tedious little tasks of every day living – cleaning, catching up on emails, catching up with family and friends. It’s hard to shut anything out and if we did try, we’d find ourselves rather alone.

Throughout this hustle and flow, I’ve kept my head pretty fixed on my shoulders. That is, until today. After a wonderful afternoon yesterday, admiring the beauty of autumn leaves and indulging in a relaxing herbal tea, I realized I need to take a step back for a little while. I’ve been reaching out for too long – giving, nurturing, supporting – it’s who I am. And I can usually be just fine without anything in return. Only now I’ve noticed that I’ve worn myself out a little too much and it’s time to focus on taking care of myself for a little while. It’s hard to patch up the hurts, single-handedly hold up friendships, and keep in touch with everyone you love when you can barely manage to find time for the number one person in your life: yourself.

I often indulge in the little things – a piece of dark chocolate, a shopping spree, an adventure away – but I barely acknowledge the more important indulgences – rest and emotional downtime. It’s important to know yourself, to realize when you need to take care of yourself, and to listen to what you are feeling. It’s all too easy to brush off your thoughts as selfish or unimportant, but doing so will just hit you harder down the road. I’ve learned the hard way too many times to count.

This is why, for a little while, I’ve come to terms with what I need most: a break from life’s little stresses. I’ve decided to stop going out of my way to make others happy at the cost of my own feelings. I’ve always worked a little harder at relationships than I feel has been returned. Maybe for a little while I’ll just let things be. I’d hate to think that would be the end of anything worthwhile, but if it is, maybe it wasn’t as worthwhile as I’d thought.

This post isn’t a rant, an attack on anyone in particular. Those tend to drive me a little bonkers when I read them on Facebook statuses and whatnot. It’s simply a thoughtful reminder to anyone, anywhere.

learn to love yourself

At the end of the day, being a better, happier, healthier you will allow you to be the best person you can be to someone else. Better friend, better family member, better lover, better role model. You only have one body, one life, so treasure it. Take a moment from putting everyone else before you to give a little time to yourself. When you’re all rested and self-improved, then you can jump back into life energized and ready to take on the world again.

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