So here it is: Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It’s not self centered, it’s not vain, it’s just…not. Some of the most beautiful, centered, strongest women I know spend a lot of time caring for themselves.
Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘you can’t draw from an empty well?’ Well, it’s true. It’s impossible to take care of the ones you love – your friends, your spouse, your kids – if you are not loving on yourself first. Imagine what a better wife, mother, friend you can be when you’re rested, at peace, and whole.
How are you going to fill up your well today? TODAY. Not later this year, not when you lose 10 pounds or feel like you can be a better, more patient, happier person. Not when your kids are more behaved or when you finally have that tough conversation you’ve been meaning to have. How are you going to take care of yourself TODAY?
This doesn’t have to be something huge or stereotypical like you see in the movies, where the mom totally neglects everything else to get a goopy mask at the spa all day (although getting facials is one of my FAVORITE things to look forward to when I can sneak away for one). There are small, practical things you can do to tend to your spirit and be a springing well, a fresh glass of water as it were, for those around you.
The people we love the most deserve our best. They see the life we live more than the words we speak. I could tell my daughter all day long about how beautiful she is and how talented she is and how she’s so valuable…but if she sees that I don’t put value in myself she’s not going to believe that I find her valuable.
“But how am I supposed to take care of myself when the baby gets up at 5:00 a.m., take kids to school and take the sick one to the doctor and bring cookies to the bake sale, and cook dinner and…..”
Yeah, we’ve all been there. Some days it feels impossible to even brush your teeth, let alone “tend to your spirit.” So, here are some very practical ways you can fill yourself up that fit in to the everyday madness:
TAKE 5 MINUTES EACH DAY TO BREATHE, BE STILL AND THINK ABOUT NOTHING
This involves no screens, no lists (not even mental ones), nothing. Put the baby down for a nap or pull the car over when she falls asleep between errands. I like to leave a few minutes early to pick my kids up from school and park in the “kiss n go” line to spend my 5 minutes each day.
Set a timer, and disconnect for 5 minutes.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
According to many studies, listening to music reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and it’s good for overall brain health.
I’m not just talking about turning on the tunes in the car or while you’re doing dishes (although it makes it go by faster!) Sit down and blast your favorite tunes. I don’t care if it’s Frank Sinatra, Toby Keith or Eminem….no judgement here. I too, like hearing about “Mom’s spaghetti.”
If you want to take it the extra mile, find you some noise cancelling earbuds or headphones. They will change your life.
CUT TWO THINGS OFF YOUR ‘TO-DO’ LIST
I know. It seems impossible. It seems like if you do this, the world will absolutely stop spinning on its axis.
Trust me, it won’t. I promise.
What are TWO THINGS right now that you can eliminate from your list today? I know you can find them. Will your kids starve if you don’t go to the grocery store today? Can the clean laundry sit in the laundry room just one more day? Do you have to take that meeting tonight, or can you catch it next month?
I’m not asking you to turn away from all of your responsibilities and commitments, but I do want you to say ‘no’ to a couple of things so that you can make room for a ‘yes’ to yourself.
I encourage you to be intentional about one (or all!) of these things, this week. Comment below and tell me what you’ve chosen to do and how it has worked for you!