Last week we started talking about the importance of taking good care of ourselves before we even attempt to take care of others, and I debunked the myth that taking care of ourselves first is a selfish thing.
This week I want us to start moving through the process of what taking care of yourself looks like.
I want to invite you to think about how many times have you come home from work and raced straight to the bathroom because you realized, “Oh my gosh, I haven’t peed all day!” Or, how about those times were it’s the middle of the afternoon and you start to find yourself crabby and irritable, only to realize, “Oh, well, I must be getting hangry because I haven’t eaten all day!”
Yeah, taking care of ourselves is really a simple thing. It looks like taking care of some of our most basic needs. It looks like making sure we are going to the bathroom when the need arises, and we are eating at regular intervals. It looks like moving our bodies, even if only for small stretch breaks throughout the day. And it also looks like putting ourselves to bed on time. We put our kids to bed on time so they aren’t tired and irritable the next day, so why wouldn’t we put ourselves to bed on time too?
Do these things sound familiar?
These are probably things we would expect our children to do: go to the bathroom, eat their breakfast, lunch, and dinner, move their bodies, and go to bed on time!
So again, we have these expectations of our children (or if you don’t have any kids of your own, think back to your own childhood when your parents likely had these expectations of you), so why don’t we have these same basic expectations of ourselves?
I think it’s because somewhere along the way, we forget how important these things are to our overall well-being. Or worse, we start to allow our unconscious stories of how not good enough we are to get in the way so that we hustle harder to prove our worthiness: Oh, let me send just this one more email; Let me return this one more phone call; Let me just read this one last article, and then I’ll go to the bathroom/eat/head to bed.
So, with the holidays fast approaching I really want you to be at your best. I know your family will thank you for it because you won’t be the cranky pants at the family dinner or the lady who won’t stop to take time to be present with the ones she loves. And when your loved ones thank you for it, you will be glad you decided to take care of you too.
My invitation to you this week is to make the commitment to taking care of your most basic needs first. I want you to make the commitment to using the bathroom when the need arises, to eat your meals at regular intervals, to take time to move your body (even if it’s taking little stretch breaks away from your computer during the day), and to put yourself to bed at a decent hour every night.
You do this and I promise you will be better equipped to handle whatever comes your way this holiday season.