Taking care of yourself is not just a luxury - it is a necessity!
I love to reminisce on the safety instructions flight attendants tell us pre-flight. They tell us to put our own masks on first before attempting to put on our companions' masks. Of course, they have better verbiage, but my point is clear. In order for us to help save someone else, we must save ourselves first.
And just think about it.
We worry so much about filling others' cups at the workplace; in the home; at our places of worship; in our friend groups, and more that we rarely ever come back and check on ourselves. We find ourselves stressed out, annoyed, and irritable.
We feel like screaming in the wind, but our stress levels have us convinced beforehand that no one will hear our rallying cry.
Not to mention that, for some reason, we rarely ever connect our stress to us not caring for ourselves. Some of us go YEARS without taking time for ourselves. YEARS!
This self-neglect leads us to health issues that also go neglected... because we are already accustomed to ignoring our needs for self-care.
Have you noticed that:
- You have experienced more headaches than normal?
- You have been finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions?
- You have been gaining/losing too much weight without trying?
- You have experienced hair loss or other hair issues?
- Your patience has been getting lower than normal?
If you have experienced any of these (and more) check your stress levels. Pull out your handy Journey to a Stress-Free Life Journal and choose the optimal path for you to attain a stress-free life.
This could look like:
- Taking a walk for at least twenty minutes and finding a random object that you will count until the end of your walk.
How many yellow flowers can you count during your 20 minute walk? Can you beat your score from your previous walk?
Take this time to inhale and exhale heavily. You may even want to coordinate your breathing with your steps. Look at the different parts of the environment and revel in the beauty of the bees on the beautiful flowers or the newly formed butterflies whose hard work as a caterpillar has set the tone for their new lives as butterflies.
You can even use this time to let your imagination flow and make connections between the beauty you are seeing in your environment with how you should live your life.
The opportunities during this 20 minute walk are endless!
- Taking yourself on a lovely dinner date and remaining on the self-date for at least two hours.
Turn off your phone (or ignore notifications), if possible, for the duration of the date. Answer ONLY essential calls from your sitter or from a sick family member or caregiver. Everything (and everyone) can wait!
Allow yourself to laugh at the movie. Laugh heartily! Allow yourself to indulge in $20 bags of popcorn and $15 drinks.
And resist the temptation to use your cell phone during this time. Your cell phone will take you away from your la la land that you are indulging in for yourself and will bring you back to reality. WE ARE NOT READY FOR REALITY JUST YET!
- Take a long, as hot as you can take it, bubble bath with nice soothing bath salts and aromatherapy.
Turn on some nice, relaxing instrumental music, add some scented Epson salt into your hot bath water, apply a face mask, cover your hair, and begin your bath. No, this is not bath time. This is time for you to consume the scene, inhale and exhale the aromas, and let all of the stresses of the week roll off your body and escape down the drain.
What has always been helpful to me is to run another hot bath once the water runs cold. Feel free to try it! I admit that my stress levels have always required at least 2 hot baths in one!
It would also be helpful to schedule in self-care time at least once per week. Just as the earth was created in six days, we should work six days and allow one day of rest.
Our bodies need to recalibrate and rejuvenate! Our minds do, too!
It is only when you prioritize your well-being that you can truly thrive and reach your full potential. Be the very best boss, colleague, husband, wife, child, sibling, friend, parent, bonus parent, grand parent, neighbor, community leader, etc., you can be by investing heavily in self-care for the body and the mind.
By practicing self-care, you are investing in yourself and your future success. So take the time to nurture your body, mind, and soul.
Remember, self-care is not selfish, it is essential for your growth and advancement!
Copyright 23 April 2023 by LaQuita Middleton of Empress Enterprises. All rights reserved.