How many times have you heard that you can’t help anyone else for very long if you don’t first help yourself? Put on your own oxygen mask so you can breath while you are getting the kids hooked up. You know it’s valid advice and it makes a lot of sense, but sometimes you don’t have time, or do you?
How much time do you think it takes to do a little self-care and maybe even drum up a bit of support from others around you? Sure, your world can fall apart while you are doing it, but often there was little you could do at that point anyway and once you start helping others, it will just be harder to break away for a break. Does it take days? Hours? Maybe. If you are just learning to care for yourself and have a lot of rebuilding to do on yourself it may take months to see solid progress, but it can take seconds to take that first step and that is what I’m talking about.
You don’t have to take off for a week at a spa, not today anyway, but doing those little things that make you feel good about yourself–little things that you can do every day between the chaos and the exhaustion–start doing them.
I don’t know what your list might look like, but I’ll share mine as an example:
- I sit in a corner of a loveseat and read a chapter from a novel.
- I take a long bath almost every night as part of my bedtime routine.
- I sit beside one of those little preformed ponds in my backyard and watch the water flow over a preformed waterfall.
- I watch and feed hummingbirds and other birds in the summer–we have some cardinals building a nest in a corner of our fence so I’ll be able to watch the babies grow.
- I wear pretty skirts and dresses to write in, even when I’m not planning to go out.
- I spend time loving on our dogs and just cuddling. Dogs love unconditionally.
- I try to write something in a notebook every day to get it out of my head. This is complicated for a writer, so I’ve also given up feeling guilty when I don’t use the notebook.
- I go to thrift stores and buy paperbacks for a dime or a quarter when I feel poor.
- When I feel less poor, I buy and display things in my house that make me smile.
- I ride my Honda scooter every chance I get. It saves a lot of money and is more fun than driving the car or walking.
Of course your list will be different. But you can see that some of these things take seconds and others can take much longer. They fit in with everything else in my life and help me feel a little more human as I go through the days. A few of these are just alternate ways of doing things that I’d be doing anyway. Make your own list. Start right now. Do something that makes you smile.