Busier than ever, our days filled with the care of loved ones, projects, errands, and to do lists that don’t seem to end. There is always something to do, somewhere to be. How often do you feel your priorities are getting pushed to the bottom of the list? Ask yourself, when was the last time you specifically took time for yourself, to put your needs first even if for a moment? What comes to mind when you think about self-care?
Often when I ask clients about their self-care they look at me with a strange expression. Then they make a comment about how it feels selfish to take time for themselves while there are so many things to do and so many people asking for their time and attention. What ensues is a conversation about the importance of self-care and it goes something like this…
There is nothing selfish about checking in with you, taking a moment to assess how you are doing, and then doing something about it. Whether it is a quick walk, reflecting on your day, reading a few chapters of a book, making that doctor or therapist appointment you have been putting off, taking a warm bath or a nap, or enjoying a cup of coffee. When we take a moment to care for ourselves we are actually doing others a favor too. We are at our best when we feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to face the day, which means that we are therefore better able to help others when they need us. A great metaphor for this is when taking a trip somewhere and flying, you are instructed that in case of an emergency, a mask will come down and you are to put yours on first before helping others. Simply put, we can be the most help for others when we first take care of ourselves.
When we engage in self-care we are better able to tackle that to do list, ready to jump into action, and will be more present for others when they ask for our help. It does not have to be done in a big extravagant way but can be in small yet significant ways each day. Go ahead and start today and notice the difference. Go ahead and do us all a favor and take time each day for some self-care. Good luck!