Never leave yourself behind
...because when you take care of yourself, you have more of yourself to give.
You are there for others every day: family, friends, coworkers, the list goes on. It’s who you are. Being there for others feels so good! (usually)
Sometimes, though, you feel burnt out, exhausted, resentful even. Then you feel even worse for feeling that way.
Any of this sound familiar?
It’s OK to feel that way. As I’ve said before, when you know better, you do better, and here’s what you need to know when you’re the one to be there for everyone else: Never leave yourself behind. In fact, I’ll take this quote one step further and say: Put yourself first.
That’s so selfish! How will I ever help anyone if I’m just focusing on me? I could never…
Breathe. You’re in the right place. I promise. Stay with me here.
Putting yourself first is the least selfish thing you can do.
HUH? That seems really counterintuitive.
Just the opposite, actually. People who practice self-care are happier, and there’s tons of science to support that! Just Google that phrase, and you’ll see what I mean! Millions and millions of articles supporting this scientific fact.
So why is it STILL so hard for us to believe?
Many of us have spent decades forming identities around being strong, or being caregivers who never show (what we perceive as) weakness. Hell, one of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of strength is: the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.
Who am I to disagree with the dictionary? It’s not that I disagree, per se, I just have a different take on the word effective, that comes from lots and lots of experience feeling the way I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Is it really effective to never take care of yourself? Is it really effective to put yourself last and end up feeling resentful?
Doing those things was the opposite of effective and it wasn’t until I completely re-ordered my priorities that I was able to let go of the resentfulness, stop feeling burnt out and exhausted all of the time. Shifting my focus and putting me first has made me a better family member, friend and person! It’s enabled me to be there for others with an open heart and a presence that I didn’t have before. It’s been the catalyst for my business and has actually increased my capacity.
Bottom line, life feels better now that I’ve stopped leaving myself behind, and isn’t that the whole point of being here?