(This post is a reproduction of one of my articles in ‘The Woman’)

Chatting casually over emails with an old friend, I realized that women tend to get overly frustrated, at some or the other point in their lives. It does not make any difference if you are single or married; working or student; stay-at-home or working mom; living in nuclear or joint family; that feeling of crankiness creeps in some way or the other. Many a times, we blame it on our difficult circumstances – tough job, unsupportive spouse, young kids, meddlesome in-laws, or some other life situation. But, I think that one reason that causes the other situations seem out of proportion is that we do not take as much care of ourselves as we should. I am not referring to getting a massage or facials or haircut etc. Though these things might cheer you momentarily, what really makes a huge difference to your outlook is your healthy state of mind, i.e. when you feel loved, cared for and respected.

We women are so busy living up to our various roles – daughter, sister, wife, or mother, that we forget out own self. We tend to go out of the way to make everyone in our lives feel emotionally content. But, how many times in a day do we actually make an effort to fill up our ‘emotional tank’? I am not suggesting that we should forsake everything in life and just concentrate on self-happiness. All women know, within their heart, that their true happiness lies in that of the ones they love. I am not asking women to be selfish. But in order to be selfless to the extent we are or want to be, we should be caring towards ourselves as well. If one is not happy from within, one cannot be at peace with one’s life. Hence, frustrations ooze out in various ways – irritation at small things, anger at kids or husband, or general feeling of dissatisfaction.

I can be more giving only when I have immense love inside me. I can be more caring only when I feel cared for. I can perform my duties as a mother, wife or daughter to my best ability only when I recognize and fulfill my needs as an individual. How do I do that? For the start, I can pamper myself with finding some time just for myself. Even if it is just fifteen minutes a day, I can take my mind away from everyone else and think about myself. I start enjoying being just me, for a few moments. In this ‘me-time’, I can start doing something that I really enjoy, something that makes me genuinely happy, something that is done for the sole purpose of bringing joy to me. It can be reading, writing, yoga, dancing, painting, singing, embroidery, anything at all. It is important to make this something as a part of my routine. I don’t put this activity off for some other day, but I do it today. I enjoy it now. This way, I give my mind what it yearns for – peace and contentment. These few minutes of peace make an immense difference to the whole day. If I make it a habit of spending some time just by myself and start enjoying it, I become more efficient in other roles I perform.

If you have a supportive family, you can go one step further. You can spend a couple of hours with your friends, may be once a month. Have you observed how men feel more cheerful and energized after a game of football or badminton with their friends? Women can start with similar kind of activities with their friends. If you can leave the kids at home and can go out for a “girls’ evening out” and do whatever you feel like – watching movie, playing tennis, going to an exhibition etc., it would give you a kick for many days. It is just a matter of spending some quality time for yourself that would make a magnificent difference to your whole attitude. So, why not grab a pen and make a to-do list for yourself as you do for other household work?