When I was in graduate school, each class I was in had a self-care assignment, project, or paper. I remember thinking to myself, “yes, we get it, take care of yourself,” but at the time I didn’t realize how important my self-care plan would become. We all have responsibilities, and get bogged down by our day-to-day routines and tasks. Many of us work, are stay-at-home moms (see: work), try to make time for our families, friends, and coworkers, grocery shop, pay bills, remember birthdays, prepare for holidays, are in school, and the list goes on and on. But how many of you actually do something just for you that you really enjoy? When was the last time you took a bubble bath? Or sat for an hour reading your book? How many of you have taken the opportunity to go outside and rock in hammock just to enjoy the weather? Meditating for 10 minutes- who has time for that, right?
There is a misconception that doing something for you and you alone is selfish. Note: misconception. Have you ever flown on an airplane? When the flight attendant is instructing you what to do in the case of an emergency that the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, what is it that they tell you to do when this occurs? “Put the mask on yourself first, and then help others.” I want you to think about why this is, and how this can apply to other areas of your life. You need to care for yourself first, before you can effectively help others. How helpful will you be to others on the plane if you do not put your own oxygen mask on first? Not very effective when you run out of oxygen! The same goes for caring for your children, doing well with your job and responsibilities, caring for a household, and every other aspect of your life. You will be more effective in all areas if you take some time for yourself first. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary.