We’ve all heard it said: ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’, but how often are we actually doing this in our everyday lives?
And yet, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we end up burning out, exhausted, anxious or depressed – especially you!
I’m sure you are like me, a chronic helper of others. A fatigued giver of yourself!
In the caring professions we even have a name for it: compassion fatigue – yes, that’s right! Over- helping even has it’s own terminology.
Of course a lot of us would say that we didn’t have a choice – as Mothers, career women or entrepreneurs, we do have a million and one people or things to take care of don’t we?!
But, if you don’t put yourself first soon, what’s going to happen?
I see this so much with the clients that I work with, and I’ve been there myself, multiple times! And every time, once I’ve taken a step back, taken some time for myself, I think – “well, I won’t do that again”, lesson learnt. But also a part of me thinks “why didn’t I sort it out sooner?” There is a long answer and a short answer to this, the short one: I wasn’t ready – sometimes you do have to go through some pain before you are able to move forward, the lessons can’t be learned until this process is complete…
What does #MeFirst actually look like?
To me it’s about having fierce compassion for myself – ourselves. Fierce because you don’t let anything get in the way, compassion meaning self care, with courage and commitment to striving to be the best version of ourselves, living the best version of our lives.
No one can do this for us. There is no point martyring about waiting for someone to notice our hard work and brilliance and then to offer us a break. We have to be our own champion.
#MeFirst starts with the basics, diet, hydration, hygiene, health and exercise. All of which need taking care of on a pretty regular basis (daily!) and we do it whether we feel like it or not!
- You eat every day, don’t you?
- You drink fluids every day, right?
- You wash every day? (I hope so!)
- If you are physically sick or broken, you are able to make adjustments to your daily life aren’t you? And
- You move around every day? Even if you don’t go very far.
All of these elements of daily life, I would hazard a guess that you could improve, without too much effort. In fact this is exactly what Dave Brailsford of the GB Cycling Team did when he took over as Coach. He reviewed every single element of the team’s functioning, and aimed to improve everything by 1%. The results went down in history.
This is actually called the 1% marginal gains rule. There is so much we can do using this process, and it doesn’t mean drastic huge changes that are impossible to maintain or throwing the baby out with the bath water!
It does mean that any changes made may show visible results immediately, but through the passing of time. For example: flossing one’s teeth – on a daily basis, it doesn’t shout from the rooftops, but at your six monthly appointment with the hygienist, you’ll be smiling and patting yourself on the back for being a good girl.
So in the spirit of #MeFirst and improving your self care, with a spirit of fierce compassion: what is your first step? Let me know
Think of this as up-levelling your life. 1% at a time.
Self care is how you take your power back. It’s how you gain time, balance, and how you earn greater respect for your boundaries from others. It’s how you improve your relationships, by loving yourself more.
#MeFirst – it’s so worth it.