• Gayle Rigione, Allergy Force CEO

Give Yourself Permission


From my perspective, as parents, we are all ‘working parents’ — whether we work outside the home, or not.


Sometimes, as ‘working parents’, we’re overwhelmed by a treadmill of needs that compete for our attention each day — whether it’s the care, feeding and loving of our children, keeping the chaos at home at bay, our work or volunteer commitments, school demands, nurturing our personal relationships, managing a chronic health condition, or caring for aging parents.


At times, we get so caught up in taking care of the needs of those around us, we forget about our own needs. Or, we prioritize them so far down the list they never see the light of day. These needs pull at us throughout all our waking hours, often like a Black Hole, draining us of our light and energy.


(OK, I admit it. I am being a bit melodramatic here. But I got your attention!)


Let me ask you a question, and answer honestly: In your life, are you driving or are you being driven?


Think how many times you’ve scheduled, rescheduled and rescheduled again {…fill in the blank with that self-care appointment…}, sacrificing it to a higher need, a more pressing priority, a louder ask.


I had a friend who once offered me unexpected insight into myself, just after my twins were born. She told me, “The difference between you and me, is that if I have ants in the cupboard, I’ll close the cupboard and go for my run. If you have ants in the cupboard, you’ll solve the ants.” She was right. I’ve thought about this often over the years. I’ve also ‘solved’ a lot of ants since then.


But I’ve also learned since then that if we don’t take care of our own needs, give ourselves enough space to breathe, reset and regain our center, we can’t be fully present for the people in our lives we care about. We will show up, but we won’t really show up. Our ‘tank’ can’t run on empty.


We need to love ourselves enough that we permit ourselves to come first some of the time – Something. Is. Good. Enough.


Give yourself permission to:

  • Sleep in an extra 10 minutes on a weekday.

  • Walk for 60 minutes instead of 40.

  • Crunch through a pile of leaves and drink in the Autumn smell.

  • Take a no-guilt nap with your little one after finishing a naptime story.

  • Soak in the wonder & awe of a fiery sunset.

  • Let your partner 100% organize dinner for the kids so you can have a night out (off?).

  • Bake a batch of cookies and eat as many as you want—no sharing required.

  • Get lost in the simple joy of walking the dog.

  • Splash in a puddle left by a passing rainstorm and get your sneakers wet. Really wet.

  • Read ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein and have a good (from the heart) cry.

  • Call up an old friend you haven’t spoken with in too long, and talk. Really talk.

  • Take the day off for no reason and head to the beach or park (and leave your phone behind unless your latest Kindle download is on it).

  • Take a {long} bubble bath and don’t forget the glass of wine or mug of your favorite tea.

  • Leave the dishes in the sink and lose yourself in a game or two or three of ‘Go Fish’ with the kids.

  • Make a loaf of pumpkin bread and give it away, just because.

  • Promise yourself to go to the gym and keep that promise.

  • Declare it ‘takeout pizza night’, when the day’s been long and the thought of cooking dinner feels like summiting Everest.

  • Go on a bike ride.

  • Have a picnic breakfast at the beach or the park—just you, the rising sun and the quiet.

  • …pick your favorite…


How do you give yourself permission?


You start small. You take small steps and succeed. Then you take bigger steps and succeed some more. Gradually, your success at loving yourself enough to put yourself first some-of-the-time gradually becomes habit. This habit of self-care will replenish you. It will refill your ‘tank’ so you can bring your best self to your days, your loved ones, your commitments.


What will you choose? Solving the ants? Or, the run? Today, I chose the run. Solving the ants will keep.


"Sometimes you just need to do that thing called ‘what you want’. " —Unknown


About the Author: Gayle Rigione is a mom, wife, sister and CEO of Allergy Force, the food allergy management app. She’s also an allergy mom. She’s lived the heart stopping moments when her son ate the wrong thing, second guessed reactions and made the trips to the ER. These experiences inspired her to create tech tools for people with food allergies. Mark Twain once said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Allergy Force is her 'why'. Whatever you do, do it with a full heart. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat




Photo Credit: Thank you to Adam Walker on Unsplash for use of the post image



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