We each have our ways of spending time, of finding ways to get through our tasks, to meet our commitments. We each make choices every day, and during each minute of the day, about how to spend our time.
Should we be alone? Should we be with others? Should we think of ourselves only, and what we need? Should we only think of others, help them fulfil their needs, to the detriment of our own? How do we determine what matters most? Will it matter in 5 years time? Would my parents approve? Does it make me feel good? There are many ways to decide.
Research tells us that parents who empathise with their kids with depression can suffer - their immune system is affected. Parents who are less empathic don't have the same experience. So caring can hurt us. Thinking about others has its price. Thinking only about ourselves can also have a price - of loneliness, of disconnection.
We need connections, we need nurturing, we need balance and all of these are about how we choose to spend our time. Being there for others needs a balance of time for ourselves, doing things that are relaxing, nurturing, that will recharge our energy. Allowing ourselves to be cared for, nurtured can also help. Giving into rest sometimes, not counting it as minutes wasted but minutes to care for ourselves, to self sooth, to calm ourselves.
It's easy in a busy world to never switch off. To always be connected to technology, to be ever present, ever engaged. To switch ourselves off can leave us feeling like we are missing out. It can mean we have to face ourselves, our worries, our weaknesses. It takes courage to take the time to listen to our selves, to tune out of the world around us.