Call it “filling your cup” or “putting your own oxygen mask on before someone else’s"…there are different ways of describing it. Regardless of how it is described, clearly “self-care” is a topic that is worth discussing. Why? Because the truth of the matter is, if you are not taking care of yourself, you are not any good to anyone else PERIOD.
As a coach, probably 95% of my clients are women and I’m guessing that this is not a surprise. I am relatable. Whether you are a parent or not, there are friends, family, jobs, pets and many other competitors for your time. I just happened to work in a corporate job while raising my two children, did coach training and managed my home, extra curricular activities for the family etc. etc. I’m guessing probably like many of you reading this. And…I was lucky enough to have a good friend at the time who served as a great role model for me. She and I had babies about five months apart - hers was born first. And the lessons I learned from her example I am eternally grateful for.
I learned to make time for myself. Even if that meant going out to the grocery store for an hour and leaving baby home with Dad. As time went on, that morphed into other activities that made me a better Mom, wife, friend and employee, among many other things.
Why is this a “thing” that I feel compelled to write about? Because of the conversations I am still having with women, whether they are clients sitting across the table from me; friends at the gym; conversations overheard in the doctor’s office or grocery store…it is still a relevant conversation to be having. Women aren’t making it to their own “to do” lists and it is costing them their health.
What can you do if this situation resonates for you?
Start by getting yourself on your “to do” list - as number one. Yikes! I can hear the gasps already. Before you stop reading, maybe just hear me out. I am talking about doing little things throughout the day that nurture you in some way. This could mean taking an extra minute or two in the shower in the morning; actually finishing your coffee or tea; perhaps taking a 10 minute walk at lunch and, I know this seems out there, sitting and taking some deep belly breaths on the couch when you get home in the evening before you jump into the next activity. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to do. The point is to acknowledge yourself by taking care of yourself, because, believe it or not, there is no gold star or medal at the end of the road for you if you don’t take care of yourself. That doesn’t exist.
You know you can’t get something out of an empty vessel - so what if you did…”fill your cup” or “put your oxygen mask on first”? What would be different for you?