If you find, like me, that you are always running around taking care of everybody else, the healthiest thing to do is to STOP and consider taking care of yourself. While this seems obvious, most of us struggle with the idea of putting ourselves first. There are many misconceptions about why we don’t look after ourselves, but in this age of “self-care,” there are many ways to commit to the one person who really matters, yes YOU.
So, you think taking care of yourself is selfish, join the club. Actually, the opposite is true. Our wellness strengthens us and allows us to support our loved ones better. Self-care is the antidote to stress, since feeling stronger means we are more resilient. Think about your last plane trip, who gets the O2 mask first? Yup, you do! Then you can help others. Life is like that too.
We often sacrifice ourselves trying to save everyone else. But truthfully, people have to learn their own life lessons, no matter how painful. You can’t decide that you know what is right for others. That would be selfish, because it is based on your desires for them. The best way to help is to focus on yourself and stop trying to construct other people’s lives. We think we’re caring by “rescuing” our friends and colleagues from unpleasant experiences, but in fact, we are stopping them from facing their own challenges, learning lessons, and gaining strength from facing adversity.
We teach people how to treat us by our own actions and attitudes toward ourselves. By putting signs out there that you are that St. Bernard friend, ready with a cask around your neck, you attract the kinds of people who want to be rescued. You know these friends, it’s always all about them, and it is an unbalanced relationship. You seem to attract needy individuals who take advantage of your trusting and good nature. Don’t be a doormat. You are more important.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that we lack self-confidence, and feel others are more worthy. Start to treat yourself well, care for your mind and body and YOUR needs, be confident. You will see a shift in the type of people you attract, and the world becomes your oyster once again.
So just what does self-care mean?
Self-care is different for each one of us. We all have preferences, it’s the chocolate vs. vanilla debate. Listen to your inner voice, the one that sounds rational, and really hear what makes you content and satisfied. Feeling benevolent, here is a short list of my personal self-care rituals. Yours may have similarities, or be totally different, and that’s cool. Just remember to be true to yourself. I hope my list inspires you to start taking care of yourself.
I am committed to:
- Doing something I enjoy every day—being creative.
- Being fully in and embracing the present moment—mindful living.
- Being my authentic self, not what others want me to be, which means listening to those voices in my head and doing what feels right for me.
- Using meditation every day and identifying three things I am grateful for (and yes, coffee counts☕)
- Eating healthy, less carbs, more protein and lots of H20.
- Spending more time with positive people.
- Learning to set healthy boundaries- it’s OK to say NO!
- Being patient with myself and not worrying about what other people think about me (yes, it is perfectly cool for me to be in my Doc Martens and Cure tee at the fancy Boca places)
- Getting one writing thing accomplished every day, and celebrating my achievement.
- Singing along to my music, even if nobody else likes it. Happy is good. It’s important to take life a little less seriously and have some fun.And remember, stay motivated and caffeinated! 😉☕