When I don’t take good care of myself, I sink into the prickly paws of depression. Feelings of worthlessness engulf and paralyze me.
It’s as if there is a devious pitchforked devil sitting on my shoulder screaming,
“YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH! YOU’RE WORTHLESS! WHY BOTHER?”
I’m not afraid to talk about this because I know I am not in the minority. We all have this little bitch devil waiting in the wings to stomp on us when we’re weak.
When we aren’t caring for ourselves, we are rendering ourselves defenseless and prone to these attacks of worthlessness.
I had a really bad attack yesterday. I felt unworthy of love, money and time. I wept and simmered the pain. It was a hard day.
I went to a yoga class last night that my dear friend was teaching and she got really vulnerable with us. She talked about things she chose to leave behind and knowing her, I knew these were big scary beasts that controlled her life.
She offered us the opportunity to also leave something behind on our mats that night.
I focused on breathing in worth and exhaling worthlessness. I kept reminding myself that I have worth.
I have worth.
That’s the truth. I’m not just being a narcissist. I am a valuable person with a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and love to share. That’s my purpose.
While I haven’t quite figured out how to bundle my purpose for the sake of doing the work I have been studying furiously to do, I know that I cannot do it without first taking care of myself.
I have to be my first priority and you have to be yours.
I know there are a handful of mothers reading my blog thinking, but what about my kids? My husband? My friends? My career?
Women carry a blessing and a curse called selflessness. We tend to prioritize everyone else, at the cost of ourselves.
By not choosing to care for yourself first, you are offering up a second rate version of yourself to all of these other people that are important in your life.
Ask yourself honestly, are you a better mother/wife/friend/partner because you choose to put their needs ahead of yours? You might be surprised to hear your inner voice whisper, no.
While I am not saying you should neglect your children while you curl your hair for an hour, I am saying to put YOU time on the schedule every day.
Make it a priority to eat well, drink enough water, wash your face, take a shower, get dressed or whatever it is that makes you feel good.
Try making a list of 5 things you could do every single day to feel great about yourself.
These don’t have to be things that cost money or take up a lot of time. We live busy lives!
I assure you it is not impossible to find time to take care of yourself each and every day.
If you spend 5 minutes doing 5 things for yourself a day, that is only 25 minutes of the 1440 minutes you get everyday. That is less than 2% of your time, spent on you!
Here is a list of things that you can do for yourself in just 5 minutes:
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face
- Make a green smoothie
- Close your eyes and breathe
- Get dressed
- Make tea
- Brush your hair
- Step outside for fresh air (rhyming unintentional)
- Listen to a Beyoncé song and dance like a fool
- Express gratitude
The first and hardest step is simply giving yourself permission to practice self-care for a few moments.
I guarantee doing this will boost your self-worth, mood, confidence and happiness.
Today so far I did a few nice things for myself and I am already feeling dramatically better than yesterday. Maybe I really did leave my feelings of worthlessness on my mat last night or maybe the self-care is to credit.
Here is what I’ve done today so far:
- Enjoyed a cleansing lemon water first thing this morning
- Ate a delicious and nourishing breakfast
- Took a relaxing sea salt bath and listened to music
- Got dressed, in real pants!
- Put on a little makeup, to feel beautiful
- Went to the grocery store for ingredients to make a comforting dinner
- Made a jojoba oil and grapefruit essential oil roll-on fragrance, to remind myself it’s okay to be silly and fun (plus it smells nice)
- Wrote to get my feelings out (to you, right now!)
My priority today is to focus on taking gentle care of myself and to send that annoying devil packing.
As I am reflecting on my own experiences, I am beyond confident to say that health is directly linked to happiness. (I am literally reflecting. In a mirror. Do you know how hard it is to take a real camera self portrait? Hard.)
When your physical body is healthy, you are more likely to feel good emotionally and mentally. When you feel well, you are free to be present.Happiness lives in the present. You have to be there to experience it.
Happiness lives in the present. You have to be there to experience it.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Let me know how it goes.