I recently spent the weekend with two of my best gal pals. I mean seriously they are the best! I have known them since grade school, and no I am not sharing how many years that has been. They are both smart, college-educated, hard working (and I mean HARD-WORKING), moms, wives, friends and so much more. They have been with me through out so many ups and downs of life. They each bring new perspectives of advice, listening ears, love, and support. Isn't that what good friendships are all about? They don't judge me. They supported me during the worst of times and cheered me on during my successes. I feel really blessed. And trust me when I say, friendships are not always easy and sometimes require those hard conversations. There have been hard conversations over the years, and that is what makes a great friendship in my opinion. It is the willingness to fight for those friendships. It is the willingness to not always agree with the other person, but love them anyways.
One thing that I thought about deeply while my friend, Bev, and I did a facial this weekend is how as women many of us have been conditioned to put others first. Many of us have spent our lives caring for children, spouses, parents, friends, etc. We have volunteered, and we have worked long hours in the corporate environment. We have driven kids here and there. We have gone without so our kids could have more. We have made appointments for our spouses and significant others. We have literally done every task to help and serve others. And many times this has been at the expense of our own health and mental wealth being. (I am including myself in this) I am not really sure where this thought process comes from. But enough is enough! If we do not put ourselves first, how can we possibly serve those we love? I know you have heard this before. It is not a new concept. But, are you doing it? I know I wasn't. It has taken me decades to understand that I have to care for myself first. I have to take time for me! If I don't, my physical and mental well being ultimately suffer and that is not right. Taking care of myself means a few different things and it can look differently from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. Caring for yourself is going to look different then mine, as we are all in different places in our journey.
Taking care of myself now looks like saying no to invitations that don't align with my values and intentions. It is showing up as the best version of myself in the moment, and its allowing myself to feel emotions as they arise. Its weekly date nights with my husband, time with my mom & daughter. These are the important relationships to me and the ones I most want to nurture. It's those random text messages and phone calls with my best gal pals or sneaking away for a short getaway weekend to just be together. It's setting daily intentions and reminding myself I am ENOUGH and I am worthy. It can also mean getting a massage or manicure. Its spending time in nature, doing yoga, moving my body, and laughing as much as I can. Taking care of yourself is what feels good for you! Some ways I take care of my physical health is by eating healthy foods, moving my body, and getting medical screenings. I take care of my mental well being by doing yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, setting daily intentions, spending time in nature, and allowing space for stillness.
I encourage you to put yourself first! I know you want to care for others, but please make sure you are filling yourself up with oxygen so you have enough oxygen to help others. If some of the things I do to care for myself sound helpful give them a try. Or maybe for you it looks different. Do you have a new hobby you always wanted to try? Running? Walking? Golf? Cooking? Tennis? Crocheting? Making jewelry? The ideas are endless! You are enough and you are deserving! Take care of you!