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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

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How To Balance Your Needs With Theirs


You need me time, but your family is clamoring for your attention and you feel responsible for their happiness. You can get a great new job if you relocate, but then what about your spouse and the kids? Perhaps you are a caregiver to parents or a special needs child and you can’t remember when you last had a vacation. So, are you a “selfie” or “self-less?” Who wins when it concerns your personal happiness? Have you needed accomplishment after accomplishment to validate your self-worth and never quite felt at peace?

If you have been catering to their needs for so long, they might feel awkward, worried about what they have to give up, resistant, or even resentful about the special activities you have planned for yourself. After all, they might have forgotten how to fend for themselves!

Life is a precious gift. If you have been taking care of everyone else, except yourself, be aware that your feelings of irritability and unhappiness are transmitted to those around you. Bad moods are contagious. Feel your body and listen to the song in your heart. You have two brains which must get along in order to be in harmonious balance: The cognitive or rational brain and the limbic or emotional brain. Remember your mind can play tricks on you and rationalize anything. Synchronize your thoughts with your feelings. Be honest. This is your point of balance.

Now it’s time to get the others reacquainted to the new you. Here are 9 suggestions to manifest your truest self:
  1. Reassure everyone that you still love them, especially now that you are doing more things to support your own identity and joy.
  2. You will know if it is time to change because change should feel natural and necessary like the shedding of old skin.
  3. Avoid preaching to and correcting everyone about the new empowered you. Lead by example.
  4. Get team shirts for your family to remind everyone that you are on the same team. Then strengthen your team. Know what is important to them, what their vulnerabilities are and if YOU goad any of them into a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Be a team leader, not a dictator.
  5. Remember where your power ends. You are not responsible for everyone’s happiness. However, you can set a good example of self-care and stress-management. Instead of catching the fish, cooking the fish and serving the fish, teach them how to fish.
  6. Say no to the activities that deplete you. Channel your energy and direct it where it is most needed. Shoo away the mental bullies who provide the reasons why you can’t, shouldn’t and will ultimately fail. They are chipping away at your self-confidence.
  7. Accept a no from others and listen to criticism. If you accept yourself the way you are, you have to accept them too.
  8. Stop pushing so hard and watch the others stop pulling away.
  9. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. In the middle of difficulty lies possibility.

For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show



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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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