Self-care is a word we hear about all the time, but how many of us truly know how to make it a priority in our lives?
Truthfully, I get it. Thoughts of how can I work out when I need to spend more time with my kiddies? Or who has time to meditate when I have an inbox of requests awaiting my responses? Sometimes it feels like there will never be enough time in the day to accomplish everything but one thing is for sure, we must make time to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our families and our business.
I recently re-watched a clip from Oprah’s Lifeclass with Iyanla Vanzant. In it she talked about why putting ourselves first is not an act of selfishness but instead, a way to best love ourselves. She said:
“It’s self-full to be first, to be as good as possible to you. To take care of you, keep you whole and healthy. That doesn’t mean you disregard everything and everyone. But you want to come with your cup full.”
Trust me, I know all too well how it feels to give your all to everyone else only to be left lacking for yourself. Constantly pouring out of your cup and forgetting to refill. Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that I could never show up as my best to any situation if I failed to show up for myself. I had to make a change.
My newest mantra – self-care is self-respect. Every day I’m seeking for ways to show myself the respect that I deserve. As mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, employees, (I can go on and on), we wear so many different hats. Our time and energy are split among many different people and responsibilities, leaving ONLY a slice of our energy for ourselves. If you’re like me, then you’re likely in need of some R&R!
Here are three simple things you can do to start putting yourself first. Some of these will take just a few minutes a day while others may require a whole weekend, whichever you do, commit to it and schedule it in your calendar.
- Pause and reflect – So often we get caught up in the motions and responsibilities of our lives that we forget to pause and reflect on how it all makes us feel. Take time to process the events of each day and reflect with gratitude on what you’ve learned and to count your blessings. For me, this is writing in my Success Planner, and listing something I’m grateful for.
- Tuck away your phone – Yes, girl! Social media distraction is real and the effects that it has on us is even more alarming. Constantly scrolling through the highlights and carefully filtered lives of others for hours each day is bound to make you feel that you don’t measure up. Designating a full day or at least a few hours each week to not touch your phone, answer texts or emails helps to set aside some time to clear your mind and refocus your thoughts.
- Schedule time to relax and refresh – Head somewhere for the weekend, schedule time off work, take a day trip somewhere you’ve never been before or even plan a staycation at a nice hotel in your own city. Know that the best way to remain inspired and ready to give your best is to prioritize a day or days where you take charge of your body, mind, and spirit. Take some time right now to think of what this ideal day would look like and start planning it today!
What can you do to begin making yourself more of a priority?
Photography: Desiree Thomas