Take a Break Before You Break

      If you aren't taking care of you, who will? Being selfish isn't a bad thing and self-care is extremely important. Psychotherapist and Life Coach Didi Zahariades joined us to help de-stress summer. She says that if you don't remember the last time you had a scheduled day off or if stress has become a normal part of your week, then the following five steps will jump-start your healthier life!

      1. Take 20 Minutes Every Day to be Selfish. This is scheduled Me-Time.
        The dictionary defines selfish as "devoted to or caring for oneself". If you do not step up and practice self-care each day regularly, who is going to take care of you?
        If you do not teach your child the importance of self-care, who will?
        If your health is not important, how do you make sure you stay healthy? When do you make time to plan for your life? When do these questions get answered? Make this the Summer of Stress-free Living. Your challenge is to find 20 minutes each day to spend selfishly just on you.
      2. Grab a Great Summer Song!
        A song can change the spirit of your day. Select your song and use it to build the foundation of your day & lift your spirit. Music is scientifically proven to bring a sense of calm as well as a reduction to the stress of daily life. Research has found a shift in brainwave activity even after a person has stopped listening to their favorite song.
        Music is used to decrease both anxiety & depression in some individuals. Music has the ability to lift the level of optimism as well as bring a more positive state of mind.
      3. Begin a Meditation Practice.
        If Oprah is doing it; why not you? Taking a quiet break and learning to bring a sense of peace into your daily life will allow you to catch the calm when you need it. If you 'practice' meditation, then when chaos enters your day you will be more equipped to deal with it. If you only operate on high, eventually you will burn out. Meditation provides an opportunity to replenish.
        The practice of mediation provides the user with the ability to decrease her anxiety, to let-go of her worries, to not get so involved with the problems of others.
      4. Make the Decision to Be on Time for Everything
        If you know a person who is consistently on time, then you have met a person who is most likely very good with personal boundaries. She has found a way to find to manage her time and only say yes to those things which she is able to complete is the amount of time she actually has in a day.
      5. Demand to Be As Important As Everyone Else. Treat You as Your Own BFF.
        When is the last time you said No to someone else so you can say Yes to you?
        When is the last time you changed plans because you recognized you were tired and needed some down-time to re-group?
        When is the last time you made a beautiful, healthy dinner of all your favorites just for you?
        If you are like most people the above questions weren't comfortable to answer. It may have become uncommon to give self-love, self-respect, and positive thoughts to you. For the next week: Demand to be important. Treat You as Your own Best Friend Forever. Most of us are much better at being friends than we are at being selfish. If this means saying yes (or saying no) do it because You are as important as everyone else!

      For more information, including details on Didi's new book, The Confident Woman, visit her website.