I imagine there is not one reader of this blog who is not, in some way, a caretaker. Whether you are the parent of a child or pet, a manager of people or schedules, or simply a good neighbor or friend, you likely invest time and energy in others on a regular basis.
And I imagine many – if not most – of you often put these people and things above your own wellbeing. How many new mamas can relate to not being able to find the time to shower – let alone consume a cup of coffee before it gets cold – or read an entire newspaper article? How many yoga teachers find it nearly impossible to squeeze in a class for themselves? Even the most disciplined and well organized among us inevitably feel lacking in the time and energy to care for ourselves. But we neglect ourselves at our own peril.
When our own well is depleted, it can be hard to provide for others with a cheerful heart. By constantly ignoring our own wants and needs, we risk allowing resentment to creep in, clouding our motivations and casting a shadow over our relationships. To be the best mother, colleague, or friend we can be, we need to ensure we are also taking care of ourselves.
An investment in your own well being doesn’t need to be extravagant – perhaps a bubble bath after everyone else is in bed, an early morning walk before your first meeting, or asking someone to watch the kiddos for an hour so you can meet a friend for coffee or read the newspaper from beginning to end. By caring for yourself in these simple ways, you will be better equipped to meet the needs of the many people you support each day. These small indulgences might be just what you need to give with more grace and serve with greater sincerity.
What can you do today to care for yourself?