The Magic of Putting Yourself First
FROM CAROLINA: We work with such a wide variety of people – moms and dads, uncles and aunts, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters…from all over the world – near and far, rich and poor, single parents and huge families… I’m amazed every day at the incredibly unique situations that families experience. Each family is so different – with such different beliefs and thoughts and perspectives. The world is a kaleidoscope of inspiring variety.
And yet, as unique as we all are – I continue to see one theme that seems consistent across all cultural backgrounds – we all seem to forget that taking care of ourselves is just as important as taking care of our children.
My unique perspective on life is that we never accidentally forget anything – I believe we always forget on purpose. What I’ve noticed is that each parent chooses to prioritize their child so much that they have to forget about themselves – there just isn’t room for both. The operating belief seems to be as follows: “If I have time to relax and take care of myself, then I should be spending that time taking care of my child.” It’s like we’re never enough unless we take care of someone else at every chance we get. If taking care of others 24/7 feels really great for you – that’s fantastic! The only challenge with this belief is that it tends to lead to burnout – arriving at the point at which we are no longer able to take care of anyone.
It’s time to take a moment for yourself. It’s time to acknowledge that you are better for others when you have first taken care of your own body and your own spirit. Search your memory for the things you used to do purely for yourself – and do something just for you. Take a walk – stop and smell the flowers – do some yoga – read a book – put nail polish on your toes – watch part of a basketball game – cook a new recipe – sit in silence – have a cup of tea with a friend… Whatever it is that inspires a feeling of peace within you, give yourself permission to take the time just for you.
You’ll find that it’s like magic: when you return from your 30-minutes just for you, your child will respond in an entirely new way. You’ll start to see that your 30-minutes-away-from-it-all were actually 30-minutes-to-support-the-whole-family. The more you take care of you, the more you are able to take care of your child.
Wishing you all a magical day!