How Taking Care of Yourself First Helps You Avoid the Ultimate Self-Care Mistake
“The Biggest Self Care Mistake of All Time” is a ravenous monster that sucks out your soul!
This may sound like an exaggeration, but it's not.
How do I know?
Because I’ve experienced its blood-thirsty effects first hand.
What could this ultimate self-care mistake be? Not practicing self-care at all.
When you don’t practice self-care, you may feel like your life is turning into a monster. All of a sudden your life controls you, instead of you controlling your life.
Start Taking Control
Do you ever find yourself stuck in an endless list of to-dos? Or drowning from fire after fire that keeps popping up everywhere you look?
I need to cook dinner, the house is dirty, my child is screaming, I have errands to run, my husband is sick, the kids have soccer practice, I have to go to work, my phone is buzzing, I need to take this call, I have bills to pay, I…I…I can’t do this anymore!
Does any of this sound familiar? I know it did for me (and it still does sometimes), but news flash! It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you feel exhausted, overworked, and on the edge of burnout then I have a super, simple remedy that can help you fit your self-care into your life, even when you’re crunched on time.
Take Care of Yourself First
If you’ve ever been on a plane, you know that there’s a big safety presentation that happens before the plane takes off. Flight attendants instruct you about emergency exits, floatation devices, and oxygen masks. I’m sure they talk about other stuff too, but I want to focus on the oxygen masks.
No matter what airline you fly on, or what size of plane you're on, the flight attendants tell you to put your mask on first. But…why?
Well…what would happen if you chose to help your child put on their oxygen mask first, instead of your own?
You would run out of air! Then both of you would be in trouble.
The same thing applies to life.
If you’re not eating, getting enough sleep, or taking the time to unwind how can you show up for those you love most?
Let me rephrase that…how can you show up well for those you love most?
I’ll admit. I was extremely guilty of this (I still have my occasional days, but it’s getting better). I would put off taking care of myself because I wanted to make sure my husband was happy, that my kids were happy, that my mom was happy, or that whoever happened to come into my life was happy.
But this is what happened…
My daughter would ask for some yogurt (which implies she's screaming because she's hungry, but whatever I tried to give her she didn’t want).
It was a trying time, to say the least.
If I hadn’t taken care of myself, I started sobbing because I was wishing that I could have some patience and figure out how to take care of her needs without turning into momzilla.
But if I had taken care of my basic needs first (sleeping, eating, destressing, etc.), the experience was a lot smoother. I was actually able to find something she’d eat, give her some love, and cheer her up, making her and me a lot happier.
And this was true for all other experiences, too. My relationships with my mom, my spouse, and my friends all improved when I took the time to put myself first.
Do What Matters
Another reason why it’s important to take care of yourself first is because you know it will get done.
In life, we all have the same 24 hours each day.
We cannot ever get more time. It’s not possible. However, we can choose what we want to fill our lives with, and what we want to get rid of.
Whenever we encourage you to practice self-care, we’re not trying to tell you to do more. I mean…we already have enough on our plates! If anything, we want to take stuff off of your plate.
So here’s the big takeaway we want to leave with you today…
It’s not about doing more. It’s about doing what matters.
And guess what my friend, you matter!
And a healthy, happy, beautiful you is who your loved ones need most.
How are you going to start putting yourself first? Comment below!