Where do YOU fit into your day?
To the givers, the big-hearted, the “yes” sayers, the mommas, and the incarnated earth angels (yes, that means you)…
If you’re giving to others at your own expense, you’re not actually doing anyone any favors.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
And a personal reminder because we’re currently working on this, too.
Always secure your oxygen mask, first.
There is a reason, a very real, important reason, airlines tell you to secure your oxygen mask, first, before assisting other people. Essentially, the idea is that you can't help anyone else — including your children, your mom, your BFF, your boss, and everyone you deeply care about — if you don't take care of yourself, first. Well, you can, but it WILL without a doubt only be a small part of what you’re actually capable of.
If you’re a people pleaser this is hard — like hard-hard — especially at first. You'll likely feel guilty for not doing what other people want you to do. You’ll likely feel like a horrible mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, etc. But, here’s the thing: when you don't take care of your basic needs first — however selfish you may feel — you are trying to pour from an empty glass, choosing to deplete yourself, and inviting stage 12 burnout* to your party. Do you really want him at your party?
Self-care is not a luxury, nor is it selfish, it’s your self-responsibility and it’s 1000 percent necessary.
Your life circumstances, whatever they are (kids, work, school, etc.), don’t exempt you from having very real, very HUMAN, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs. Ever.
What happens when you neglect yourself:
Speaking from experience…
Resentment, disease and exhaustion. (This is putting it lightly.)
Bouts of extreme and unexpected reactivity.
Incredibly painful stress-induced breakouts.
And that’s only the beginning.
Because when you neglect yourself, you also…
Invite chaos into your life.
Make it tremendously difficult to practice any sort of “presence”.
Show up for people half-heartedly. (Taking care of yourself has a very real effect on your life, and the lives of everyone around you. The version of me that other people get when I disregard myself and my needs pretty much sucks.)
Push people away. Nobody wants to be in the presence of people who are bitter and miserable. Really, nobody. (Well, maybe other bitter miserable people?)
Are forced to take care of yourself, eventually. (We call that reactive self-care and trust, it’s not fun.)
So what does self-care actually look like?
*Curious about stage 12 burnout? It’s the worst kind. Think: 3 miles past the point of delirium. Often results in hospitalization. Can be avoided by setting boundaries, pro-active self-care, and knowing the small things that ruin you.
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**This post is part of our month long Self-Love series. If you're just catching up:
1. Self-Love Wins
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