Many people say that putting our needs before other’s is selfish or self centered. But when our own needs aren’t met, we start to feel depleted, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. Providing care to others from this emotional space is difficult and there is little joy in our lives. Self care means we have to take the initiative to get our needs met. Here are a couple of ideas that may help:
Suggestion One: Put your needs on your To Do List. Sometimes this is as simple as getting eight hours of sleep or going for a walk. Other times, hiring a baby sitter to get some time away with your significant other or a friend is helpful. You don’t have to forget about everything and everyone else on your To Do List– just make sure you get on the list as well!
Suggestion Two: Ask for Help. Asking others to support us so we can take some time off can be hard. We don’t feel deserving, don’t want to impose on others, or we can’t afford it are just some of the excuses people use. But friends and family usually love to help. Can you watch the kids this week so I can get a massage? I’ll be late coming back from lunch so I can go to the dentist – can you cover the phones for 20 minutes? My friends asked me to play golf, would you do the grocery shopping this week?
Suggestion Three: When you find something that energizes or recharges you, or puts a smile on your face, REPEAT! As many times as needed! Then bring your newly found energy and smile back into your regular life. When we feel recharged and rested, life’s tasks seem just like that – tasks and not overwhelming mountains. By making sure we take care of ourselves, we can then more easily take care of others.