Self-care is at an all time low. As a society, we are tired, malnourished, and overwhelmed. Our minds consistently live in the future, contemplating all there is to do before we can take care of ourselves.
“When I have more time I will workout”
“I’ll sleep when I am dead.”
“I love vegetables, I just don’t eat them”.
“I’ll work less someday, then I can take care of me.”
These conditions create a “zombie like” world. We are not present or engaged in our daily lives. We cannot have the life we want now, because there are too many other priorities that we have to sort out first. We cannot be ourselves.
How has this come to be? It begins with the notion (one we concede to) that we have to give up taking care of ourselves to fit in everything else. It has become a sin to put yourself first. It has almost become an expectation that we will sacrifice our own self care for the benefit of others.
This notion is backwards. Not putting ourselves first is costly. If we cannot take care of ourselves, how can we be capable of giving to others? When we are chronically under-slept, malnourished, and overwhelmed, how are we to be fully present in our lives? When our cup is full, we can nourish others. If our cup is empty, we have nothing to give.
The first time this realization hit me was about 2 years back. I had just finished one of my busiest training weeks of my career. 40 clients. A big pay check was coming. And, I was completely drained. I realized I had skipped 3 of my workouts, ate out nearly every night, and sacrificed an hour of sleep a night to see all my clients. I had the opportunity to impact 40 people in one week, yet I had sacrificed my own wellbeing to do so. As a life coach, the irony could not be clearer. This was when I realized I could not impact the people I worked with the way I wanted to if I myself was not nourished. My cup was empty. I had nothing to give my clients.
Our society is drained. And, we try to fix it by doing more. What if the solution is as simple as taking care of you first?
The practice of putting ourselves first is a powerful one. Imagine a life where your a able to fully engage in every moment. You are fully present, able to be who you want to be. You have the energy and the mindset to live the life you want to live. I would assert self care may be the most powerful way to gain access to the life you truly want.
To put ourselves first takes awareness, practice, and work. Obligations, social pressures, and career demands will have us believe we need to take care of the rest before we can take care of ourselves. But the cost of not doing so is too great. The cost is our experience of life.
Allowing our body to get the sleep it deserves, the movement it desires, and the nourishment it craves are the corner stones of self care. The practice of making these areas the number one priority in our life is a game changer. We cannot wait until tomorrow, or until January first, or for work to slow down, or life gets easier. Have you not heard, life will always be the way it is?
This shift requires you to decided now, in the moment. that you deserve the best for yourself. You deserve to be kind to yourself. You come first.