The Golden Rule tells us to "Love thy neighbor as thyself," which translated means to take care of others as well as we care for ourselves. We as women go over and above caring for others. But have you noticed that we don't go over and above caring for ourselves? In fact, we are often hardest on ourselves. We make excuses such as, "I don't have time," or "that costs too much." We continually find the strength to give to others, sometimes having to reach down into the depths of our souls. We give our all at our work, to our families, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, bath times, play times, quality times, volunteering, helping others, the list goes on. And we are stressed.
Is this you? It was me not so long ago. I loved others so much and me so little that I eventually developed chronic fatigue. I was over tired, over weight, and over stressed. So tell me, as you live your life each day, are you loving you? Are you loving your neighbor as yourself, or are you loving your neighbor MORE than yourself? Do you love you and care for you as much as you love and care for others?
When you fly on a commercial airline, the first thing you learn before you ever take off, is that if the cabin is depressurized, to put your oxygen mask on first! Simply stated, if you don't put your mask on right away, the result will be that you pass out from lack of oxygen, therefore you are unable to help others. Life is pretty much the same. You need to put that mask on first and take care of yourself. When you do, you are able to continue on with your daily life, caring for your family, helping out your friends, or going that extra mile with a client. But when you help others without caring for your needs first, you find that taking care of them is stressing you out. You are making unhealthy choices, eating processed foods and sugars for fuel. You are losing sleep and you are not rested. Which stresses you out even more. You find yourself on a viscous roller-coaster cycle that you are unable to get off.
Practicing self-care is not selfish. It is a necessity. And it is simple. It comes in many forms such as eating right, exercising, reading a book, getting a massage, or having a positive attitude. We cannot pour from an empty cup and self-care keeps us healthy, mentally and physically. When we love ourselves enough to practice self-care, we find that we are able to give more freely of ourselves and without stress.
It's time to put on that oxygen mask, love yourself, and continue to thrive and help others! Since the general theme of February is love, I am dedicating the month of February to self-care, to loving yourself. Get a head start and download my free guide today: 5 Simple Healthy Habits to Kick off the New Year! Inside you will find easy steps to loving you, so you can break free from stress, and start enjoying life!