It is my belief that our purpose in life is to serve others. I feel my best when I can help someone else, be it listening to a friend or stranger’s story, assisting a coworker, helping to alleviate pain in a client, supporting my fiancé’s growth, or being a mom. I love giving and it feels great. It doesn’t feel good when I’m taking more than I need or being selfish. I know many people feel the same way, and will spread themselves thin trying to help others as much as possible. Many of them will put others ahead and make sure everyone else is comfortable before they can let go and unwind themselves. Helping is great; becoming a doormat and not allowing ourselves the same treatment is not helpful to anyone. “If compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete”- Jack Kornfield.
Self-care is necessary to be a better caregiver. Self-care is not selfish. When we take care of ourselves, it’s like filling up a teapot and we are able to fill more cups at the table. When we are caring for ourselves, we eat better and have more energy to provide help. When we make time to go to the gym, we are allowing our bodies to run optimally so we can give care for longer periods. Recently, I realized the importance of scheduling gym appointments into my schedule and treating them as I would a client. I can give better massages when I have built up strength and stamina from my workouts.
For parents, it’s hard to remember that our kids don’t come first either. If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’re familiar with the procedure with the oxygen masks. In the event the masks are needed, they will come down through the ceiling. We are told to first put our masks on, then we can help children or others needing assistance. If we put the mask on the child first, we run the risk of passing out with no one to help us. Now, our child will be lost as to what to do next. This is true everywhere, not just an airplane. As a parent, I make sure I have my proverbial shit together so I can better help my child. This is also ideal to show our kids the importance of self-care.
Relationships work best when each person is whole. Reciprocation in relationships is important, and giving is also needed when it come to ourselves. When I have the time and space to work on what I need mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, I am a better partner. Self-care keeps the passion alive! Self-care provides stress relief and less stress means a happier relationship.
Remember, it’s not selfish to have a regular self-care routine. Self-care is giving to yourself so you have more to give to others. Love yourself first!
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