There is a beauty in placing others before yourself. To consider another's thoughts, feelings, and desires is to recognize that we can see beyond ourselves, and embrace the interconnectedness between us all. Like almost anything, though, this kind of behaviour can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. When we park ourselves so far down our priority list that we almost don't even make it on in the first place, we run a real risk of severe burnout and ill-health. Why? A lack of self-care.
At times, the concept of self-care brings up negative connotations of selfishness and exclusion. These are the farthest embodiment of true self-care, though. True self-care is deliberately taking time to participate in activities that rejuvenate our mind/body/soul, so that we can replenish the energy and motivation to be our best selves. When we make the time to meet our own needs, we treat ourselves with the same level of respect shown to others when we put them first.
The amazing thing about self-care is that there are no rules or regulations about how to conduct it! It may take a group form, such as a yoga class; or, it may be an individual activity, such as taking a bath. Each of us have activities that speak to us personally; our own personal energy-replenishing sources. I've mentioned two examples already, and others include hiking, running, scrap booking, knitting, crossword puzzles, and reading. Personally, my go-to activity is playing video games. They may be a nerdy option, but who are we kidding here -- I proudly let my nerd flag fly!
When partaking in self-care, it's important to remember that you're not being selfish and taking time away from others -- you're making time for yourself. This especially comes into play when you have a partner, and definitely with children. So many of us will neglect ourselves and our need for self-care because we feel as though we are punishing those closest in our lives by taking time to do activities that do not include them. This fallacy is the reason so many of us have a severe self-care deficiency! Yes, your optimal self-care activity may be a solo one, but the reason why you're doing it is what sets it apart from actual neglect. If you're unwilling to commit time to yourself and your own well-being, then how is it possible for you to commit to others' on an ongoing basis?
Your capacity to give before your figurative batteries run dry is finite. Take the time you need to properly recharge and rejuvenate. Love and respect yourself first, so that you can love and respect everyone else around you with everything you've got!
** View the video for this post HERE **