Black America Web Featured Video

Most women hate going to the gas station, I know that I do. For various reasons, we don’t want to stop and “fill ‘er up.” However, when your car, your body, your mind, your spirit and your energy are on ‘E,’ you need to refuel so that you can get to your desired destination.

There’s not much that feels better than a good night’s sleep. Doctors have shared that when people aren’t sleeping as well during the night, they aren’t as productive during the day, and they’re not as healthy. Did you know that with proper sleep, your brain can reorganize and restructure, which may result in more creativity? So as you can see, all of that exhausting yourself is actually counterproductive. Get some rest, and then come back and get it done at your maximum capacity.

Let this also serve as a lesson or a reminder: If you have a big decision to make and you’re tired, wait. When your mind is too fuzzy, you may decide something that you’ll regret later. As they say, sleep on it. In the morning, things will look different.

As I return from a girlfriends get-away filled with learning and laughter about the texture of our lives and the textures of our hair, that now has me on a new journey of discovering my roots, hair roots that is, thanks to for the education; I am also reminded of the stories that we tell ourselves or accept from others and choose to believe. Are you telling yourself that you don’t have enough time to take care of you –your hair, your health, your soul?  What do you need to do to change that? How can you rearrange the dynamics in your life to get more of what you need?

I’m sure there’s something that you can do differently. It may be as simple as taking a nap for lunch if you feel sleep deprived, turning off your phone and TV at night so you can have a restful sleep. Experts say taking a 15-minute power nap during the day can restore one’s energy and increase concentration. They also point out how insomnia feeds on the minor details of modern life, like the soft blue glow from a cell phone, PDA, or digital clock resting on your bedside table. The short waves of blue light may interfere with sleep, so turn off TVs, computers and other blue light producers at least an hour before sleep. Cover any blue displays you can’t shut off. Whatever you’re worried about missing on TV, you can DVR. And whoever wants to call, e-mail or text you can wait, but your well-being cannot. Little changes make a big difference.

Today, give yourself permission to get what you need. Your life is worth living, which is why you need to figure out the things that refresh you and do them as much as possible. Is it a massage, getting your hair done, working out regularly, taking a long hot bath or shower? Whatever it is, go for it to help you relax.

Stop feeling guilty for taking some time away from your stressors or for doing something nice for yourself that makes you feel good. Taking moments for yourself helps you to reconnect with your innermost being. Rest and time alone are literally fuel to rejuvenate your tank.

When you keep going and going without a break, what you don’t realize is that because your brain and spirit are clogged up, you are not moving or even thinking at your maximum level.

That’s why when you stare at the computer for a long time, you have to step away for a few minutes because your eyes get blurry. That same concept is true in life. If you learn to step away for a period of time, you will be able to see clearer, be more creative, work faster and achieve a higher quality result.

Let this serve as a notice for you to release yourself from guilt, shame or self-deprecation. Stop and sit down. Do it. Make no excuses and make no apologies. As one mother put it, when you’re frustrated, tired, and your emotions are high, sometimes taking a break from your child will save their life.

DEYA DIRECTIVE: Bless yourself with rest, relaxation and a good time. Not only will it increase the quality of your life, but, as a result of your being good to yourself and feeling good about it, you will ultimately be in a better position to enhance each life that you touch.

QUESTION:  I want to hear from you.  What areas of your life do you need to pay more attention to and take care of better?  Share your comments and tell me what you’re going to do differently.

Deya “Direct” Smith is a lead producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM & Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews. She is also the best-selling author of “Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go!” ( Deya is a life-changing coach, writer and speaker. If you have a question about life, love or relationships email