Author, speaker and workshop leader Arnie Kozak wisely once said, "Like trying to cut wood with a dull axe, trying to take care of others without taking care of the self first is a counterproductive strategy."
And yet ... and yet, don't we often try to do that? We see someone else in need of care, and we dive in, often letting go of our own self-care practices. This can be especially true of full-time caregivers, for whom time is an extremely precious commodity. It's so easy to not carve out time for yourself in those situations. But it truly is counterproductive.
We hear this every time we fly on an airplane, too: In case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before you put on someone else's. That's always a good reminder.
If you think self-care if selfish and that the above advice is wrong, just imagine trying to pour water from a pitcher that hasn't been refilled or trying to drive a car with an empty gas tank. We can't run on empty either. Something has to give.
Take time today to refuel or fill back up if you're feeling worn out, run down or depleted. It's OK. More than OK, it's essential!