This post was made in partnership with Depend® brand. All opinions are my own.
When we are little, we are taught to care about other people. We are taught how to sympathize, how to empathize and how to treat others as we’d want to be treated. These are very important life skills, but there is one missing.
Before you can do anything for anyone else, it is extremely important to take care of yourself. As they say, it is impossible to get blood from a stone.
You Need To Fuel Yourself
We all want to give back to other people. We want to take care of our parents, our friends, our partners and our children. And for many of us, we don’t just want to, we expect it of ourselves. We expect that with what little energy we have, we can take care of everyone and everything.
For a little while, we’re right. We can do it just as we have wanted to. But if we don’t help fuel ourselves by taking care of ourselves, it won’t last long.
If you don’t give yourself what you need to feel rested, capable, intelligent, and calm, you will never be able to manage what you want to. You can’t do it any more than a marathon runner can finish if they haven’t eaten, hydrated and gotten a good night of sleep. It’s the same thing.
Always Put Your Mask On First
When you get on an airplane, the same message is given each and every time during the safety instructions at the beginning of the flight. If oxygen masks release from the ceiling of the plane, put your mask on first and then assist the person next to you. Have you thought about why that is?
If you don’t take care of yourself and put yourself first, you won’t be capable of helping anyone else. As much as you might want to help someone else, you will literally lose the ability because you may not be able to function.
You have to choose yourself in order to help someone else. That is the way in the air and that is the way in life. It may not look as pretty as you’d like it to, but it is actually a selfless, caring act. You are looking at the bigger picture.
You’ve Earned Some Attention From Yourself
Let’s be honest, as we get older, there are less and less people making us feel special. That isn’t to say that your partner, children, parents or friends don’t make you feel special – I’m sure they do.
But when we are small, more people are gushing. You did a great job on your report card. That piano recital was fantastic (even though you may have stumbled). I’m so proud of you for finally eating your asparagus. We get more messages for the smaller things.
As we get older, some of that back patting has to come from ourselves. We need to take pride in the things that we do and be able to tell ourselves that we did a great job. With that comes the responsibility of treating ourselves occasionally and doing things that make us feel better.
If we’ve been having a rough day, maybe we stop and get ourselves a special coffee drink. We may order food instead of cooking or call a friend just to vent. We surround ourselves with things that make us feel calm, secure and taken care of – as we should.
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Because You Are Worth It
Let’s just get right down to it. You are worth it. If no one has told you that lately, let me be the one to remind you. You are worth all of the time, attention and love that people can give, whether they do or not. Which is why you need to remind yourself and believe yourself. You are worth it.
If you do one thing per week to make your world a little bit brighter, you deserve it. If you take a few moments by yourself to do some deep breathing, read a magazine or scroll through Facebook, you have earned it.
We can’t give to others what we don’t have ourselves and you are worth those moments of recharging. If you have trouble taking them freely, remind yourself that you are helping yourself so that everyone can benefit.
Because that is your job – to help love and take care of others – but you have to fuel your own tank in order to be able to charge the car. You can do and give everything you want to, but it does have to start with you.