I’ve been getting a lot of signs lately that I need to take care of myself in order to keep helping others. Last weekend some of my girlfriends and I watched the movie Mom’s Night Out! It was goofy, but as busy moms we all could relate to the women’s needs to have a night out to release stress and regroup.
When the main character hesitates in going through with leaving her kids home, her husband uses the analogy that when you are on an airplane and there is an emergency, you put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put in on your child.
Putting yourself before your child or family is a hard concept to swallow. But this isn’t meant in a negative or selfish way. We wouldn’t hesitate to fill our car up with gas when it’s almost empty, because then we couldn’t get our child to the hospital. We have to fuel ourselves in order to make good decisions and take care of those who need us.
The next sign was at the end of my yoga class when the instructor read a poem called Gentleness by CarlyMarie. You can read the full poem on the foundation’s Pinterest page.
The main idea of this poem is that you first have to heal yourself before you can heal others and that often means being gentle, kind and good to yourself. This may include releasing any guilt that you should be doing more. We put so much pressure on ourselves and feel like we have to do it all. We can try, but not if we don’t take care of ourselves.
How can we do this?
It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each morning to set an intention for your day.
Walk with a friend, your dog or your spouse.
Watch the sun rise with your favorite drink.
Take an hour to go to a yoga or exercise class and do this one thing for you. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you are in the present moment for yourself.
Write in a journal about how you’d like your day to go. What you are feeling at that moment, no matter what the emotion. Give yourself permission to let go.
Do whatever helps you feel better about yourself without the guilt and you’ll be able to take care of others with more patience, love, and strength.
What do you do to take care of yourself?