“Inhaling up…exhaling into forward fold,” I instructed my yoga class.
As I leaned into the bent over position, I noticed my gnarly toenails and hairy legs. This observation sent me into a soul-searching journey wondering when the last time was that I took care of myself.
Are You Putting Yourself Last?
I began to realize how often I bumped myself to the back of the line, behind my children, boyfriend, and housework.
I observed myself making the excuse that I can’t paint my nails because there is laundry to fold. That I can’t sit down and read that juicy novel because I should clean my house first. That I can’t spend Sunday afternoons by myself meditating or taking a class because that would hurt my boyfriend’s feelings.
How To Make Self-Care A Priority
This new revelation had my head spinning as to how I was going to begin to make myself a priority.
I recalled hearing someone say many years ago that women are often unhappy because they don’t know what they want. They only know what they don’t want.
So I made a list of all the things that made me happy. They were pretty simple:
- I liked lighting candles
- having a glass of red wine at the end of the day
- eating a really great dessert
- doing a fun activity with my children
- taking someone else’s yoga class
- having a girls night out, etc.
I also recognized that although I didn’t enjoy activities such as cleaning out my car, I did like it when my car was clean.
Knowing that it was a way to honor myself, I started to incorporate more of those things. As I’m tucking in my kids, I will sometimes pour myself a cup of warm chamomile tea and know that it is for me.
My Solution? Self-Care Saturdays!
I also came up with a solution of “Self-Care Saturdays” where I will do something for myself once a month. (Yes, I know that once a month sounds small, but baby steps!)
This is something a little more significant like a manicure, a visit to an old friend that I’ve been putting off for years, and a playdate with some girlfriends.
At times this process can feel a little selfish. I just have to remind myself that when I take care of myself first, I can take better care of others.
I have become less resentful and found it is so much easier to give wholeheartedly because I feel more fulfilled. I’ve even begun asking the children to help out a little more around the house – like helping to set the table or put clean dishes away.
So, reader, my question for you: What makes you happy? What are you going to do to take care of yourself today?