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Remember to Care for Yourself First

Have you ever been on a plane before and heard the flight attendant give you directions about oxygen masks? Remember that the instructions are for you to put your mask on first before you assist others?  This is the perfect metaphor about how to live your life.  But how often do we forget this and end up at the bottom of our list, or simply forgotten about?

You can’t take care of anyone else, unless you can take care of yourself first.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when others need us and we need to be there for them.  But the key to caring for others is to make sure that you mindfully nurture yourself first.  Here are some steps to make sure you keep yourself at the top of the list:

1. Plan for your SELF time. 

This might be something as simple as plugging your nurturing activities into your calendar.  If it is in your schedule, you have made time for the activity…..and you.

2. Nurture all dimensions of your life.

You have mental, physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of your SELF.  It is most beneficial if you acknowledge these parts to create wholeness within you.  Spending 5 minutes a day in quiet reflection can do so much to support your spiritual and emotional self.  Your activities don’t need to be big to be effective.

3. Acknowledge yourself when you take the time for you.

We often forget to find the good in ourselves. This is usually blocked the with cognitive part of our mental self that  is looking for what is bad or not right.  Be kind, loving and gentle with yourself.

4. Pay attention to where you spend your energy.

You might be unconscious of where you spend your energy.  It’s a good idea to evaluate your life and let go of what takes away your positive energy.  Consciously focus on renewing your energy to fill YOUR cup.

5. Remember to bring Joy into your life.

Joy is the feeling of happiness and warmth inside of your heart.  Joy filled activities can activate endorphins, the feel good hormones.  Remember what brings you joy in your heart and try to do a simple joy filled activity each day.  It can be a simple as closing your eyes and reliving an wonderful memory.

Caring for your SELF and managing your energy can be the key to optimal health and well being. Spend some time quiet time reflecting on your life.  What can you let go of in your life?  What can you do to enhance your life?   Remember that your are the only one who can change how you are.   Care for yourself first and see what a difference it makes in your life.  Love and honor yourself with this gift….you are worth it!

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