After Me…You’re First – The System For Self CareApr 14, 2021
More often than not givers and overachievers need to be reminded of the importance of self-care.
My dearest friend and confidant always reminds me of the importance of perspective and priorities.
“After Me…You’re First” he says.
What this means is that you can’t serve or survive if you are exhausted and depleted.
Here are 3 ways that you can make sure that you are listening to that inner voice that is warning you to take better care of yourself.
1. Create A Trusted Inner Circle
With the pressures and challenges of COVID-19 now more than ever mental health is a top priority and consideration.
Having a safe space where you can openly and honestly say, “I’m not OK” is key.
I can speak from personal experience how easy it is to loose sight of the pressure and toll that the past year has taken.
I am the “Joy, Vibrancy, and Purpose” coach with thousands of followers who looked to me for motivation and encouragement during these challenging times.
I am also the recently divorced mother of an adult son with special needs who had to take full responsibility for the care, safety, and well-being of my son when his father went “ghost” for 10 months.
I didn’t have the option of being overwhelmed…AND…I couldn’t risk my son’s health by having caregivers coming in and out of our home. So I cared for him 24/7 on my own. I am grateful that his sister who was facing her own health challenges did provide assistance when she could.
It has been my circle of support who called me, sent meals and bottles of amazing wine that help to lift me up and hold me down most recently when my nonverbal son had to have surgery in the middle of a pandemic.
I am learning to say “Ouch” when it hurts and to be honest when it feels like it’s becoming “too much” to bear.
2. Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You
I always say…
“If it doesn’t come out of your mouth…it’s going to show up in your body.”
Pay attention to the clues and warning signs that your body is giving you.
Are you tired? Irritable? Feeling scattered or overwhelmed?
These are all signs that your parasympathetic nervous system is out of alignment.
For me prayer, meditation, and yoga with a focus on pranayama (breath control) works best when I need to center and reset.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
These are extraordinary times and you need to avail yourself of every available resource.
Be intentional about staying connected to your loved one via calls, FaceTime, or Zoom.
And as the saying goes…”Check on your strong friends.” They are usually the ones who are suffering in silence.
And if YOU are the strong friend…make sure you ask for help and keep asking until you get it.
3. Schedule Time For Reflection and Self-Care.
I always tell my clients, “If it isn’t on your calendar, it doesn’t exist.”
This is true not only for goals and benchmarks, it is also true for scheduling time for reflection and self-care.
This can be as simple as scheduling time for an aromatherapy soak in the tub, or some time in your garden or time on the practice range to improve your golf swing.
I encourage you to get as much sunlight on your skin as possible. Going for a walk is a great way to let the sunshine in and get some exercise in the process.
Self-care is a critical component of building a balanced and meaningful life.
Building a successful life filled with Joy, Vibrancy, and Purpose doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t face challenges that will require additional help and support.
It is OK not to be OK.
What matters most is that you get the support that you need as quickly as possible.
If you don’t know who to call or where to start here are some resources to help you:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 800.662.4357
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The Samaritans – Depression and Emotional Support Hotline
Trevor Project Lifeline – Hotline for LGBT youth
Child Help USA National Hotline – For Youth Who Are Suffering Child Abuse
National Teen Dating Violence Hotline
You matter and YOU ARE ENOUGH