I feel like I sometimes harp on this a lot, but SELF CARE IS SO IMPORTANT! Perhaps I harp on this particular thing because for so many years I neglected taking care of myself. I constantly and consistently put others needs before my own because of my low self esteem (that's another topic for another day) And it worked for a while, until I finally had a nervous breakdown. I couldn't do it anymore and I realized that I needed to come first.
Now, I know so many people who feel like putting themselves first is kind of selfish. They say that we're supposed to be selfless and serve other people with everything we have. While I do believe this is true, how are we expected to care for other people when we can't take care of ourselves? Shouldn't our top priority be ensuring we are in tip-top shape to handle life around us?
I know some people who think "If I am dressed and eat food, I'm caring for myself. Yay me!" WRONG-O. While those are aspects of self-care, there is SO much more to the mix than just the essentials for living. There's a lot of work that goes into having a perfectly aligned and healthy mind, body and spirit. So, how do you do it?
I'm not about to tell you exactly "how" you should take care of yourself. Because, it's YOU. You know you better than anyone else, so you know what steps are needed to take care of you. (wow, it took such strength for me to type "you" that many times in a row) Find a routine or care plan that works best for your situation and your body. I'll share with you how I try to find moments in the day to take care of myself. Often, I have to CONSCIOUSLY find times in the day to ensure I'm caring for myself and take time to do so.
I try to dedicate at least 30 mins of "loving movement." That term is from Fly Lady and I absolutely love it. Loving movement is essentially, exercise. If I think of it as "exercise" I don't want to do it almost instantly. However, exercise really is loving movement for your body. It's doing physical activity to strengthen your body and make you feel good (even though you may not think you feel super good during the work out). And it is so important for your body to move it!
Another thing I find super important to completely clear your mind. I try to find time during the day to pray, read and meditate to find a spiritual center. This probably sounds really strange and hippy-ish to a lot of you, but I think it's super important to find a way to clear your mind of stress. You can walk the dog, listen to music, take a nap, find whatever works for you. That's just the method I use to completely and totally clear my mind for a couple of minutes.
Monthly I try to do something specifically for myself. Maybe getting a massage, maybe getting a pedicure, maybe getting a manicure, maybe getting my hair dyed, maybe go shopping. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Take time to do it. Treating yourself makes all of the difference in your mood. Find something that makes you feel good and do it.
I've seen this quote around pinterest and even on my little sister-in-law's twitter, it's easily become one of my favorites.
So, make sure you take care of yourself, love yourself, be happy and don't forget to treat yo' self in the coming week.