I recently posted on Facebook regarding this topic…but want to elaborate a little. A few days ago, while enjoying a massage, I was talking to my friend/massage therapist about the importance of self-care.
I get a massage once a month. To many people this sounds like a luxury, and I suppose it is. However, without this “luxury”, I end up in horrible pain, downing copious amounts of Ibuprofen, walking around miserable and irritable. I am grateful every time I see her, that I have a friend I can trust to restore my muscles to their relaxed, un-knotted state. I am grateful that I have the means to afford it…although don’t get me wrong, I’m not rolling in dough. I work approximately 55-60 hours a week, I don’t have cable, I drive a used 10 year old car, my furniture is pretty old and pretty beat-up, my house could use new windows and a coat of paint….but, I have enough money in my pocket to treat myself to a something that keeps me from constant pain…my monthly massage. Could I put that money toward something more “practical”? Probably…but will I? No.
Some think this is selfish. I do not. How am I to be the best me possible…to give my gifts to my family and friends…to the world for that matter, if I am knotted up, undernourished and/or unfulfilled?
Women especially (but men too), tend to put their family’s needs in front of their own. I understand the need to be super-mom. I mean, you want to give your kids everything you possibly can! But if you are consistently giving to them, without finding a way to give to yourself too, you rob everyone of experiencing the best YOU. (You also teach them that self-care is selfish and soon they will be putting everyone else before themselves too). But it’s not just our families that we put first. Often we put our work, our friends, our church, our communities before our own needs…spreading ourselves so thin that nobody gets our full capabilities. We mean well, but our confused priorities often undermine our real intentions.
Ever fly on a plane and here the flight attendant say, “if the oxygen masks emerge, put your own mask on before helping others?” Why do you think they say this? Because you are no help to anyone if you are unconscious… So today, put your oxygen mask on first…do something for yourself because the world is a brighter place when you are shining with your full potential!!
Today, I challenge you to do one thing just for YOU!!
Need some ideas?
Take a bath (with a candle), take a the time to make yourself a nice healthy dinner rather than just stopping for fast food, go to bed early, spend ½ hour taking a walk, pick up that hobby you’ve forgotten about, meditate, attend an exercise class you have been meaning to go to, meet a friend for a drink, put on music that you love, read a book (just for fun), call to schedule that doctor appointment you’ve been putting off, treat yourself to a pedicure or an ice-cream, walk barefoot in the grass, take a nap in your hammock, go fishing…get the idea? It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be expensive…just find one thing you can do to make YOU happy today.
And if you find you really struggle to meet this challenge, I would suggest you check out the book "The Art of Extreme Self-Care", by Cheryl Richardson. It's a great book on this subject!!!
So until next time....take care of yourself!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.