And going straight to the point using a cliché to illustrate it (but a so true one), here is why self-care matters and should be a priority in your list:
Do you remember that safety rule on airplanes regarding the oxygen masks? If by any chance they drop down in front of you on a flight you should put your own mask first and then help somebody else to put their own if needed, even if it is your child who is that someone? And you should do this because if you don’t take care of yourself first you might end up passing out and possibly dying because of it. Would you like to pass out in a situation like that, especially with your child at risk by your side? Of course not. So to prevent that you should take care of yourself first and then help your child. This way you will not be at risk of fainting.
This rule totally makes sense in an airplane but for some weird reason when we apply it to our daily lives it suddenly doesn’t. We think it’s a selfish act, a bad, less thing to do when in fact it’s not.
Because just as it happens in an airplane emergency, in our daily lives if we don’t self-care for ourselves first we are not gonna be able to help ourselves or even others too. Due to the same exact reason: We will not have what it takes to do so. Not properly. Not fully. We need oxygen, fuel, clarity, energy to be able to function, to do something for others without compromising our act and our own physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually integrity. And because of that we need to put our self-care mask first, refuel ourselves in order to be able to help others, to take a good care of them.
And there are so many ways to self-care for yourself, to refuel you…
Just sitting down quietly and listening to what you really, really wants and needs.
And go for it.
Breathe deep and properly many times throughout the day.
Do some yoga.
Practice some exercise.
Go for a walk.
Eat foods that nourish you.
Take care of your health.
Make sure you are sleeping well and enough.
Having your back.
Take a bubbly warm bath (or a super cold shower if that is what you need).
Go for a full body massage.
Take a day off to be in and rest.
Sleep a full day.
Take a resting vacation.
Enjoy that cup of hot tea. Hot chocolate. Coffee.
Be out in nature.
Dance in the rain.
Swim in the ocean.
Say as many NOs as you think you need to.
Stand up for yourself in a loving way.
Be opened to love and be loved.
Be surrounded by people you love.
Learn something new.
Rest unapologetically every time you need to.
Just chose whatever activity refuels your energy, joy, yourself. Plan that. Make time for it. Daily. Like you make time to brush your teeth or to work. Do with an intention. And allow yourself to be there, experiencing it, living it, breathing it. Just you with yourself. And loved ones.
Besides the oxygen mask effect, it is only taking a good care of yourself that you can be fully you and have the proper energy to offer the world that special gift that only you are equipped to do so. Otherwise… you won’t be able to. And that is, indeed, a bloody selfishness thing to do.