How often are you really taking the time to take care of yourself? I noticed a strange but probably common thing this week: A friend of mine has been sick and has been putting off going to the doctor for weeks. When she finally went and got her medicine and prescriptions, she took another couple days to get those filled.
This stood out to me because I know, oddly enough, how nurturing and attentive she is towards her pets. This same person had a cat who fell ill. about a year ago. When the cat was sick, she went to the vet immediately and spent tons of money ensuring that it received the best care and treatment. Every prescription was filled and administered as if it was her only duty to do so. She even missed work to be a caregiver to the animal.
The puzzling question is, why didn’t she give herself the same care?
Is that a lack of self-worth? Some type of deep-rooted belief that she doesn’t deserve the best treatments or care? That she’s not worth the time?
I would bet that if I asked her any of the above questions, she would adamantly respond that I was wrong and that she was just too busy, “not that sick” or some other excuse. On a conscious level, I’m sure she’s right. But aren’t we all guilty of doing this same thing in some fashion or another at times in our lives?
Put Yourself First
I firmly believe that we cannot take care of others if we don’t first take care of ourselves. That’s not being selfish. Even airlines tell you to put your own mask on, in the event of an emergency, before assisting others.
The logic is clear: If you are passed out from a sudden pressure drop, you’re of no use to anyone.
We all routinely set very important things on the back burner in order to put the needs of others first. Take working out as an example. Some of us are quick to find an excuse not to put our body’s health first, such as putting in extra hours to catch up at work, spending time with others, or trying to do too much in too little time. We always find another immediate need that takes precedence over ourselves.
This is also especially true for nourishing our own bodies. We sacrifice what we know to be the proper choice and commitment in exchange for convenience and ease to appease everyone else’s schedule. On top of it all, even if we didn’t skimp on our workouts and diets, we likely aren’t meditating as we should. We don’t take that time to keep our internal environment calm, peaceful and in balance.
Is it really a wonder, then, that so many of us suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of low self-worth? You see, there’s nothing noble about enduring the suffering of a bully, even when that bully is yourself. We routinely put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list and then lament about not doing more for ourselves.
Encouragement to Treat Yourself Properly
I would encourage you to take the time to do the right things and treat yourself properly. When you are functioning mentally, physically and spiritually at your best, you are more capable of helping those around you. You become a better spouse. You become a better friend. You become a more productive co-worker. We cannot live in houses of cards and expect to be able to provide shelter to anyone else.
My Challenge to You
Treat yourself as you would if you were charged with the care and well-being of another. At the very least, treat yourself as well as you would your cat!