“Put yourself first. You can’t be anything for anyone else unless you take care of yourself.” ~ Unknown Author
“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” ~ Victoria Moran
“Today and onwards, I stand proud, for the bridges I’ve climbed, for the battles I’ve won, and for the examples I’ve set, but most importantly, for the person I have become. I like who I am now, finally, at peace with me.” ~ Heather James
“Growing into your future with health and grace and beauty doesn’t have to take all your time. It rather requires a dedication to caring for yourself as if you were rare and precious, which you are, and regarding all life around you as equally so, which it is.” ~ Victoria Moran
“The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. These three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matters most— are the foundation for self-control.” ~ Kelly McGonigal
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“Often we treat certain aspects of ourselves as junk, having no value. We try to throw parts of ourselves in the garbage. But a human being is an ecosystem, and everything in that system is of value to the whole.” ~ Stephen Schwartz
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” ~ Audre Lorde
from The Desk of MarDrag:
In our hectic, busy, and overwhelming lives we move through our days taking care of so many things. Family, children, domestic responsibilities, work, bosses, obligations, friends…and so many other people, places and things that our lives become very full, demanding and tiring. At then end of the day, we are most likely exhausted and fall into bed to get some rest so that we can wake the next morning and start it all over again.
But, we have forgotten something. And that is to take care of ourselves.
I know that this is not an easy thing to do, when our attention is split in so many ways and directions and there are so many things that need to get done in so short a time. There are many duties that take precedence and must be tended to, and we put ourselves the very last on that list because, we think, if we just get everything else done it is ok…because we can go without if necessary.
But that concept ends up being not true. The quote above, that I know you have all heard, that if you do not take care of yourself then you can’t be there for everyone else, rings very true. Living in a state of overwhelm and not taking time to do something for ourselves eventually takes its toll and will affect us. No doubt.
All of that energy that we spend in a day for everyone else absolutely has to be replenished. No one can deplete their energy and expect to go on without filling that energy level back up. What’s more, if we don’t refill that energy, we can become fatigued to the point of damage to our own systems and bodies, which will eventually break down.
Fulfilling obligations is admirable and necessary. But the first obligation should be to ourselves. That is not to say that we always put ourselves first, which is not realistically possible, but that we take some time to make ourselves a priority and do what we need to care for ourselves and reload the power and force that we need to accomplish what is required of us daily. Doing this can be as simple as taking 15 minutes to sit somewhere quietly where we will not be interrupted, and do some core breathing that quiets the mind and fills the soul with energy. Our life and all its duties will still be there in 15 minutes, and everyone can get along for that time without us. And, it is a good lesson to teach them that they can, because we need that time for ourselves. We do teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. If we do not think enough of ourselves to take the time we need to keep ourselves refreshed and honored, then those around us will likely think they do not need to honor us as well, or make sure we take that time, as we should.
If you can take a day, or a few hours, or even a vacation…do it. But if that is not possible, at the very least, take those 15 minutes a day, work it in as part of your schedule, make it a duty that you must fulfill as a regular part of your day…and give yourself the respect and love and compassion that you deserve for being the hero in the lives of the people around you. The super hero that accomplishes all the tasks they require of you.
Be your own hero to yourself…and take care of yourself. After all…you are the most important person in your life. Without you, where would you be?