We spend much of our day meeting goals, deadlines and supporting the people in our lives. That might entail caring for your family and their needs, maintaining a home, shopping for and preparing food –– all the while meeting the responsibilities of your job. Perhaps you are the parent of a child with special needs, or one living with addiction or mental illness. Many people provide support and care for an elderly parent, or a loved one living with illness. Very few people lead lives that require only addressing their own needs.
Though the thought of self-care sounds lovely, it probably feels more like an optional, even selfish, burden –– one more thing to do in an already overly busy life. But, here's the thing, giving and never repleting is not sustainable. It's just not. In order to be the nurturer, caretaker and manager of everything in your life proficiently, you have to show yourself some love, some self-care. This isn't woowoo philosophizing. It's the truth, we become depleted when we don't care for ourselves or prioritize our own health.
So why is it so hard to see the importance of caring for ourselves regularly? To see ourselves as actually being the most important recipient of loving care in our lives? But, how can we continue to show up for others if we won't and don't show up for ourselves? If we're the last to get the oxygen mask?
This, my friends, is where exhaustion, frustration, and even anger get their deep roots.
Daily self-care must be a habitual priority in your life. The practice of holding some space every day for something that brings you joy is what allows you to show up brilliantly and vibrantly for others. Regular exercise, a meditation practice, a walk in nature, or even a massage are just a few examples of simple ways to focus on your health, recharge your battery and enable you to attend to your day with energy and enthusiasm. Taking care of you unapologetically, reflects not only love and joy back to the people that need you most, but also a model for living a healthy and balanced life.