Why do we always put ourselves last or at least way down the list of things to pay attention to until we are forced to pay attention to what our feelings, our bodies or just the little voices in our heads are telling us to do? Michelle Obama said it simply and said it best. Notice I did not say “put yourself first.” It would be wonderful to be able to do that but I think all of us would be consumed with overwhelming guilt and feelings of selfishness. There are constant demands and obligations – family, jobs, children, commitments, dinners to cook, clothes to wash – the list is endless. Somewhere in there the notion of self care becomes a foreign concept because there just is not time.
What makes matters worse is that we stop feeling that we belong on the list at all but you know what? We do. It has been said repeatedly in many different ways. You cannot be there for others until you are there for yourself. You cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself. A thousand ways of saying it but it comes down to the same idea. You need to own what you feel and take care of you even if you only have five minutes in a given day to close your eyes or sit back and breath deeply. Have gratitude moments at the beginning and end of each day to remind you that you are just as important as those around you and you deserve the same care, calm and consideration. Be sure you are present on your own to do list each and every day.