“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” – William Shakespeare
“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” – Barbara De Angelis
I once heard a doctor say that he told his wife he would leave her if she ever let herself go and gained a ton of weight because it meant that she was not loving herself enough to take care of herself and if she wasn’t loving herself then how could she love him.
This may sound cruel but there is truth in that you really can’t fully love anyone else if you aren’t fully loving yourself; which is why I’m suggesting you show just how much you love yourself by taking extremely great care of yourself in every way possible.
As a wife/partner and mom it is especially important that you fully exercise your right to make your own self-care a priority before you become overwhelmed with the role and responsibilities of motherhood and partnership.
This is not always easy. In fact, we often forget to take care of ourselves at all until we are forced to because we have become so ragged and warned out from putting everyone else’s needs first.
If this sounds familiar don’t think you’re a martyr for making such huge sacrifices for the sake of your family. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by not showing up fully because you’re too damn tired.
And if you have been putting your needs first don’t apologize for making yourself a priority. It’s your right and duty to put your oxygen mask on first.
On an airplane they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before you assist your children. And this is basically how you should live. Making sure you are okay and thriving so that you can better respond to and nurture those in your care.
You are absolutely useless to anyone else if you are depleted and gasping for the time and energy you’ve completely given away before you’ve met your own needs.
Besides, taking care of others will consciously or unconsciously feel like a huge burden if you aren’t taking care of yourself as well and will eventually lead to resentment. This isn’t good for anyone.
So please, please make sure you are nurturing yourself first before you start nurturing others.
And if it feels overwhelming just thinking about what making your total well-being a priority would entail don’t let that discourage you from starting the process of transforming your lifestyle to one of greater self-care.
Just start small and build up to a new way of living and making self-care a priority in your life.
Ultimately, you want to do something nice for yourself every day. It doesn’t have to be a major to do. Simply shower some much needed self-love on yourself.
Take a soothing candlelit bath. Have a cup of your favorite tea. Put on your favorite scent. Take a yoga class. Watch some guilty-pleasure TV. Get a pedicure. Eat dessert guilt-free. Drink plenty of water. Be still and breathe for just five minutes before you tackle the next thing on your to do list. I could go on and on but you get the picture. Do the things you love to do and need to do for you.
One way to make self-care easier and more fun is to partner up with other moms and encourage each other to make self-care a priority.
We all need support and encouragement to live our best lives, which is why I try to be there for my mom friends and allow them to be there for me especially when it comes to our emotional and physical well-being.
I mean I’m personally far more motivated to workout with a girlfriend than to go it alone. It’s fun. It’s an hour of free therapy and its good for my health.
The message here is that we as moms should always be doing everything we can to take care of ourselves. And there should be no guilt about focusing on ourselves and what we need to do to take great care of ourselves in mind, body and spirit.
I wholeheartedly believe that we must make our emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being a top priority. This is not selfish. This is necessary if we expect to be able to take care of others with an open heart and a full cup.
I also believe that living in your flow is hugely connected to self-love and holistic self-care. In other words, flow is in many ways cultivated through acts of holistic self-nurturing and by unapologetically putting your needs and well-being first before all others.
This is a radical act for women and especially mothers and not one that is widely promoted or encouraged in our society. However, it is a transformative way of living your best and most powerful life in the flow.
Trust me this is just as hard for me as it is for you. But just remember you have to be a little selfish so that you can be completely unselfish when it counts.
No one wants or needs you at half throttle, not giving your best because you don’t have it to give because you haven’t been taking care of yourself. So do everyone a favor and remember that YOU MATTER too and start acting like it. Take care of you!
So are you putting yourself first? If not, how can you start taking better care of yourself today? Please share your own insights around self-care and ways you need to make your self-care a priority.