“It’s your life; live it well.” Judge Judy Sheindlin
I’m sure you’ve heard about self-care. We’ve all heard about putting our oxygen mask on first when on an airplane and it starts to go down. And, we know the reason why. You can’t take care of anyone else unless you have taken care of yourself first.
So, the question is, why aren’t you taking care of yourself? It’s a rather simplistic idea. We live in a fast paced society, and nobody want to slow down. You are told you must have more or do more. It’s never enough, has become the norm. Even when you have plenty, you may feel empty inside. It’s time to start wanting what you do have.
Here are 7 reasons to take care of yourself:
- Laughter is the best medicine. Remember when you were a child. You laughed all the time. Children can play and laugh all day, if you let them. The next time you have a chance, watch children playing on the playground. They are running around having a good time with their friends. Adults take life very seriously, and forget to laugh. Laughter is good for you. It helps relieve stress and headaches. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long. Watch your favorite comedy. Spend time with friends and family, that you can really let your hair down with.
- Self-care does include having regular check-ups. This may sound small or simple, but it does make a big difference. Make sure you have a check-up every year with your doctor. I’m surprised how often I hear people aren’t doing this. Studies have shown you will live a healthier and longer life by visiting your doctor regularly. Please don’t tell me you don’t have enough time. It doesn’t take that long and you are worth it.
- Sleeping isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. All too often, you put sleep at the bottom of your priority list. Your body needs sleep to recharge. Your brain can’t function when you don’t have enough rest. Start to get into a routine of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time.
- You will love and appreciate your family more. When you start to put everyone else first, and yourself last. You will feel resentful. After a while you won’t want to help your family. They will definitely sense this in your attitude and your mood. Your mood changes will impact your family. They also need to see you when you are happy.
- You teach your children to respect themselves. When your children see you consistently taking care of yourself, they will naturally want to do so themselves. Show your children that mindfulness is a worthy practice. Cook healthy food regularly and eat it with your children. Teach your children to close their eyes and breathe in deeply to calm themselves down. In the end what’s important, is you practice what you preach. The last thing you want to teach your children, is how to be stressed out all the time or that they have to be perfect.
- You don’t have to do anything. We all know the importance of self-care, but yet don’t have a regular routine for it. People talk about going to yoga classes, getting massages and eating healthy. These are all great things, but the truth is you don’t have to do anything. Take a day off, everyone will be alright.
- What is, is. Learn to breathe and let go. Sometimes, you have to accept things how they are. You need to stop pushing. Stop trying to wade upstream at high tide. If you don’t stop, you will exhaust yourself. This can lead to burnout. You can’t go back and you can’t predict the future. This means you can’t control everything. When you learn to let go, you will feel better about yourself. Your family will notice and appreciate this.
Take it day by day. In life you go through seasons. One season doesn’t last forever, and every season is not the same. People are always changing. When you are more flexible, you are actually happier.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA. She has helped many parents decrease stress in their life, and feel happier. For a free phone consultation or more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.