“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown
Have you ever been so tired at the end of the day you can’t imagine giving one more drop of energy to anyone or anything? Whatever your role in life – caregiver, teacher, athlete, student, healthcare worker, business person, or parent, it’s easy to give of yourself to the point of exhaustion.
I notice in counseling that many people talk about their struggle to meet the numerous demands on their time and energy. They discuss how challenging it is to prioritize their time and manage stress. For some people stress reactions are uncomfortable, but for others they can be downright disruptive. These reactions can cause health and mental health issues, sleep disruptions, irritability, and compromised ability to cope. And this leads me to the topic of self-care.
I’ve heard people say on many occasions that putting self-first is selfish. So they put their own health and well-being on the back burner to take care of everyone and everything else.
But perhaps it can make a real difference in our lives if we live by the the following:
1) Self-care is essential. It promotes physical and mental health and well-being.
2) Self-care is hard work and takes commitment
3) Self-care is the equivalent to putting the oxygen mask on yourself first in order to assist others
4) Self-care is replenishing – it allows us to more readily face whatever comes our way
5) Self-care can be fun and give a renewed sense of joy in life
So ask yourself – what do you need to do for yourself? Then put it at the top of your list and do it!