Starting to work on a new me

Published 11:09 pm Friday, April 14, 2017

Like most other people, finding the time to do the things I enjoy sometimes gets placed on the back burner.

Either from work or undertaking more projects than is humanly possible, the taking care of me seems to get crossed off the list very often.

This past weekend during a memorial service I attended, I was reminded once again that in order to be a useful individual to others, it might require succumbing to my own needs on some occasions. 

The speaker used the example of oxygen masks on airplanes.

Flight attendants instruct passengers to first put the oxygen masks on themselves before helping a child or someone in need of assistance.

The reason for this is if you pass out from lack of air, you are no good to anyone else.

This concept is easy for me to understand, but hard to comprehend.

I pride myself in thinking I can fulfill all of my family’s needs, please the boss 100 percent and, of course, stay on top of the chores at home, which inevitably leaves very little time for myself.

And then what is really irrational is when I do decided to do something for myself, I will find myself feeling selfish sometimes, which then leads to a feelings of guilt.

It is just maddening how my thoughts can reduce me to a loser.

But those feelings of mine can also snowball me into a tizzy.

If I see someone having fun or doing something they enjoy (taking care of themselves), I can become green with envy and covered in bitterness.

I am sure most of you are saying, “Good thing she is married to a counselor!”

Well, in my defense, I know I am not the only person that has a hard time taking care of self.

I have plenty of family and friends that are feeling just as stressed out and depleted of energy as I am.

Obviously, I am not the source for answers in how to fix the problem, but a website I visited suggested eight ways that may get me on my way.

Number one — Decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day.

Ok, I would like some Terri-time.

Two — Decide how best to spend this time.

Well, that one is a doozy. It can be a challenge to figure out what you want to do if you have had a hard time doing it in the first place.

Three — Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day.

I guess I could probably come up with a couple of things.

Four — Learn to say “No.”

No!

Five — Ask for help.

But what if they cannot do it as good as me?

Six — At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished, including time for self-care. 

I like lists.

Seven — Commit to a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of self-care time every day.

Starting small is probably a good idea.

And lastly — Create a daily ritual. 

The author said she found that by getting up 45 minutes before the rest of the family, she could enjoy her coffee and breakfast in solitude. I like that idea.

Tomorrow is Easter, a day to celebrate new life.

I think God would be pleased if he knew that new life includes taking care of me.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicskburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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