Let’s be real. We are all constantly learning, whether we are aware of it or not. Everyday we learn at least one new thing. I know for me, I learn multiple things everyday. Full disclosure, it is one of the highlights of my day. I love to learn. With that said, there are always those lessons you hated to learn, but are truly grateful for the ability to have learned them when you did. For me, the hardest lesson I have ever learned was how important it is to take care of ourselves.
The Importance of Taking Time Out!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who doesn’t know to take care of themselves?” It is amazing to see that something that one would consider to be common knowledge is so commonly forgotten. My whole life I was raised to put others first. One of my favorite things that my mother ever taught me was to leave a place or person better than how I found them. To this day I apply this lesson in all aspects of my life. That is one of the biggest reasons why putting myself first seemed not only foreign to be, it also made me feel guilty and selfish to do it. Just the thought of all the things I needed or wanted to do for myself would give me the instant sensation of guilt. As a by product I ended up pushing my needs to the end of the to do list. Like most to do lists I never got around to doing the last thing on the to do list.
Look for The Warning Signs!
At first, it seemed as if the decision to put myself last had little to no consequences. However, as time went by I began to notice my health had been slipping. After my health started to cave my mood was not far behind. It is often the case, there is a direct correlation between our health and our mood. When one goes up the other is not far behind and vise versa. Having such a strong medical upbringing, I made the choice to see my doctor and try to get to the heart of the matter. Only to be met with countless prescriptions and the comforting words such as: “We don’t know what is wrong with you, so we are going to try a bunch of things at the same time and see what works.” Here’s the thing, I am all for trying multiple things. However, when you change or incorporate multiple variables simultaneously, it is hard to tell if anything is working and if so which variables are causing the changes.
Are We There Yet?
Don’t get me wrong it is comforting to hear that your doctors are planning on trying several options to help you solve the rubix cube of your health concerns. It is also alarming to find out that we have no idea where we are going, let alone how to get there. It makes me think of that movie the Sahara with Mathew Mcconaughey. There is a line when they are in the middle of the desert on this makeshift sand sailboat. He says “I have no idea where we are going, but we are making great time”. For me that ended up being the case with my health, only the direction I was headed was not where I wanted to go.
Know Where You Are Going!
It took me well over a year to reach my breaking point and jump ship. Hopefully, you won’t let it get as bad as I did. I was at the edge of the cliff just about to go over when I finally abandoned ship. I had to take a long hard look at my life. One of the worst things about this lesson was seeing all the damage I had done by not learning it sooner. On the bright side, it gave me the opportunity to not only get my health and life back, it also allowed me to truly get to know myself for the first time. I had been neglecting myself for so long, I had no idea what I even liked anymore. It was like meeting myself for the first time. Of course, this meant that I had to try tons of new things to find out if they were things that would put me one step closer to my end goals or one step further, and I was not planning on going backwards anymore!
One Step Closer!
In the end, I am still not quite where I want to be just yet. However, everyday I get one step closer to the person I have always wanted to be, me. I now schedule my down time first when creating my weekly schedule, and make sure that I have ample time outside, with animals, reading, and all the other things I enjoy doing. I have learned that while the saying “the more you give, the more you’ll get” definitely rings true. You have to start at home with yourself. The more you invest in yourself the more you will be able to give back to others. I am so grateful to my aunt Kathy for instilling in me the importance of putting yourself first. I honestly don’t think I would be alive if I hadn’t finally started to put myself first. That doesn’t mean I don’t still devote the bulk of my time to helping others, because helping others is an important part of who I am. It just means that I am working on creating a balance that insures I will always have more to give. I now schedule multiple standing spa nights for myself. I usually have them on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Self-Care isn’t Selfish it’s a Necessity!
No matter what your current health issues are EVERYONE can benefit from a little more self-care. Now, you may not be the type of person who loves a good spa night and that’s fine. No matter what type of person you happen to be, just make sure you are taking time to care for yourself and putting your health first. That means eating healthy foods, daily exercise, a good night's sleep, and making sure you have down time. For those of you who love a good spa night I am going to give you one of my favorite DIY recipes that I use on my spa nights. I am also going to offer this free self-care assessment survey. This way you can find out if you need to spend a little more time on you!
DIY Aloe Face Mask
Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. I put mine in the fridge for 5 minutes because I like the cooling effect (it helps reduce headaches). Apply to clean face. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and wash off with warm water. You can also leave this on all night with no recourse. It helps regenerate cell development!
Be sure to check in often with the Best Holistic Life blogs for more great content. Your health is important to all of us here. If you are ready to make a change in your life that will help you achieve a life you're proud of contact me directly through my email at [email protected] or leave a comment below and let me know how I can help. While I have learned to take time out for myself, I am still dedicated to helping others get control of their own lives. I would love to help you in whatever way you need, all you have to do is ask.