Taking care of ourselves before others often sounds selfish, as if we are not as vested in our relationships, rather only in ourselves. However, taking care of yourself first is a crucial step in actually being more vested in your relationships. When we tend to our own needs, we are able to be more focused on helping others and tending to what they need help with. Just like the airplane safety videos, demonstrating that applying your own oxygen mask before helping your child or neighbor is important, life is much like this. If you cannot breathe properly, there is no way that you will be able to successfully help someone else breathe. If we do not take care of ourselves first, we are likely to be little help to others or our relationships.
We have so many things to tend to daily – from our demanding work schedules, our partner’s schedule and needs, and our children’s school and activities – it’s a miracle we get anything done! Tending to yourself first benefits all of your relationships and your daily tasks. Taking good care of yourself provides the foundation upon which everything else builds.
Taking care of our needs prior to others relates to self-compassion. Self-compassion is when you are aware and honest, with a willingness to be non-judgemental, towards yourself. Tending to your own needs first is a great way to practice self-compassion. Just like having compassion for yourself helps you to bring compassion to others and your relationships, taking care of yourself prior to others also helps bring care and attentiveness to your partner, children and other relationships.
Self-care is about replenishing ourselves so that we can have enough energy, creativity, love, and joy to spread to others. By taking care of ourselves first, it allows for us to be the best we can be for our partners, children, friends, co-workers, and community.
Ways To Take Care Of Yourself
Nourishment – Your body works best when it is strong. When life presents challenges, keeping yourself in physical and emotional well-being is of utmost importance. This means eating plenty of fresh whole foods, staying hydrated, being physically active, and getting adequate rest.
Relaxation – Often times we view spa visits as a luxury and not necessary. However, carving out the time to treat yourself to a dedicated method of relaxation – whether it is a massage, facial or even a quick visit to a sauna or a swim – is a great way to take care of yourself and replenish your energy so that you can carry on with your tasks and helping your loved ones.
Meditation – An effective way to nourish your well-being, meditation helps to reduce the stress in your life and gives you the ability to handle the day with a calm, refreshed attitude. While increasing your energy levels, meditation essentially helps you to connect with your authentic self. Meditation is simple minded practice, meaning you do not have to do much to participate in it, yet the benefits can affect your entire life in amazing ways, including making it easier for you to be there for others.
After taking time to explore the ways that work best for you to tend to yourself first, you will likely see that you are able to tend to your partner and children’s needs more effectively.