When I was a new mom I spent all my time thinking about my baby. What food he would eat, when his diaper needed to be changed. How much sleep was he getting? My mind was consumed of thoughts about his well being. Is he hot? Too cold? Are we doing enough tummy time?
And when I went back to work my thoughts were on my clients. Are they scheduled for their procedures yet? Do I need to contact them again? How is their recovery going? Did I answer all my voicemails from the day before? Were all my tasks complete?
As women our mind run a million miles a minute. Our attention is all over the place. We are naturally nurturing beings. We want to take care of others.
My first job was in customer service and almost every job I've had over the years it about putting other people's needs before my own. How can I better serve them? Have I done my job and made them happy?
Everyone else's needs came before my own.
Until one day I completely broke down. I had nothing else to give. I couldn't help my children. I felt completely drained, because I was. I was so worried about taking care of everyone else I completely neglected myself.
That was the day I decided everything was going to change. I called up a therapist and started seeing her once a week. And she told me I couldn't pour from an empty cup.
Meaning, if my cup was empty I wouldn't be able to give anything to anyone else. In order to fill my cup I had to take care of myself.
taking care of my body
getting a massage
taking a bath
painting my nails
sitting in meditation
spending time away from my kids
going to yoga class
All of these are forms of self care. All of these things help me fill my cup back up.
By taking time away and recharging my batteries, I am able to give the best version of myself to my family.
And I can easily recognize it now when my cup is running low.
I become irritable and moody. I lash out and instantly regret it. And then I am able to say, "Ok I need some time to myself".
And I can either leave and go to peruse the selves at my favorite book store, run a bath for myself and put on some calming meditative music, or grab my journal, light some candles, dump out all that I'm feeling onto a blank page.
But the best trick I've learned by far is by taking 10-20 minutes to myself every morning to do my daily practice. And if that means locking the bedroom door and hoping my kids don't murder each other then so be it. Having a daily practice allows me to show up each day for my kids. I'm a better mom and human being for taking care of myself.
So if you feel like you could use some self care time carve some time out in your schedule. Make it a nonnegotible. Because it is. It's mandatory you take care of yourself if you want to continue to help others.
Taking care of yourself should be a priority.