Taking Ten Makes You A Better Person

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Taking ten, or getting in the habit of doing something for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes per day doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you a better person for everyone around. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you’ve had a particularly rough day at the office. You’re on your way to pick up the kids so you can get dinner, supervise homework, and do some household chores before falling exhausted into bed. In your current frame of mind, none of that is going to go particularly well. It’s hard to find the patience to listen to your kid’s chatter on about their day, or figure out common core math when you’re feeling stressed out and mentally drained.

It’s hard to muster up the energy to cook a healthy meal and tackle the mountain of dirty laundry when you’re tired, cranky, and in a foul mood. In other words, it’s hard to be the spouse and parent you want to be when you’re stressed from work.

Instead of heading straight to your next set of tasks, take a couple of minutes to de-stress. Hit the coffee shop drive through and get yourself a treat. Sit in the car for a few minutes and listen to your favorite music or audio book. Take a few deep breaths or meditate for two minutes before you pick up your kids. In other words “Take Ten” and do something to make yourself feel better. It may feel selfish, but it really isn’t.

Doing a little bit of self-care and giving yourself a minute to catch your breath, will put you in a much better frame of mind. You’ll be ready to hear what your little ones have to tell you. You’ll be there for your spouse who needs to share his or her own crappy day. You’ll even have the patience to figure out math homework and the energy to make sure there are clean clothes for tomorrow.

In other words “taking ten” and spending a few minutes doing something that will help you relax, change your attitude, and your outlook makes you a much better person. It makes you the kind of person you want to be and allows you to get back to your sunny self. Stress is something we all experience on a regular basis. We have to come up with strategies for coping with it and restoring balance in our life. Doing a little something for yourself will help you do that.

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