Friday, January 13, 2012

Is self-care a priority?

When your life gets really chaotic, is self-care one of the first things to drop off your to-do list? Be honest now.

I confess that, as much as I’ve come to value self-care, I still allow that to happen sometimes. The to-do list is long, I am trying to meet deadlines and obligations, and I think, “Well, maybe I can just skip exercising today.” Or “Gee, maybe I don’t have time to fix that healthy salad for lunch. Let me just grab something quick from the frig.” Maybe it’s, “What? Quiet time (or time with my friend)? Wow, I have way too much to do today. I’ve got to stick to my list.”

Or here’s another reaction I’ve used sometimes: I will take that time for self-care and then I’ll feel guilty that I did. I’ll beat up on myself, thinking I should have used that time to get my work done. Do you ever do that? “Should” on yourself? “I should have done this.” “I should have done that.”

You’re worth it
Let me encourage you (and myself!) right here and now to get your priorities straight! Take that time for self-care, whatever that means for you. That may mean a spa treatment, coffee with a friend, regular exercise, a good soak in the tub, a good night’s sleep regularly, or perhaps just quiet time at the end of the day. Whatever relaxes or re-energizes you, go for it. You absolutely are worth it.

And whatever is on your to-do list, that’ll most likely get done in less time and with better spirits if you do take the time for self-care. Even if it doesn’t get done when you had hoped, no doubt it’ll be there waiting for you.

It’s so easy to put yourself last. Give your all at work. Give to your partner, kids and friends. And if there’s anything left (often, there isn’t!), you get something. What if you did what we’re told to do on flights: Put your oxygen mask on first and then help someone else put theirs on? What if you fill your cup? Maybe then you’ll have enough to share with others.

I invite you to share your best self-care tip with us. What do you keep as an absolute priority? And what does that do for you?

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