Do you ever find that you feel a bit guilty doing things for yourself? Every day I have the privilege of listening to women in my clinic and I often hear their struggle with stress. Most often the stress has to do with obligations at work and/or caring for family. Though the details are often very different, there is always one consistent thing, taking care of yourself often goes to the bottom of the list.
I had an interesting experience this week. We are finishing renovations on our home in order to
have my parents stay with us (they are in their 70’s). I literally was craving something beautiful after all the dust and noise and chaos of the construction. As I was shopping for groceries I saw a gorgeous orchid planter. By the end of my shopping I had decided to purchase it. As I was checking out, the cashier asked if I would like a gift card. I told her no, that it was for me. She responded with a surprised look on her face and said “Good for you!”
That got me to wondering… Why is buying yourself flowers such a unique and surprising thing?
Women are the care takers of the world but if we do not nurture our own health and our own souls we will not be our best to give to the people and things we love.
Here are three simple things that you can do to improve your self care and increase your own Vitality.
- Make it an appointment. Any activity that you do that is just for you – put it in your calendar as an appointment. Everything that is important in your life you write down and mark as an appointment. We often leave our meditations, exercise, going for a walk etc to the end of the day, if we have time, if we have energy, and if we remember. Prioritize the things that will make you thrive.
- Treat yourself. One of the reasons I think coffee, eating sweets, smoking and other “vices” are so difficult to give up is that they are miniature treats. Swap those things that rob your health and vitality for other “treats”. Buying tulips in the spring, a new nail polish or a new mug to drink your morning tea or coffee can bring a smile to your face. These are very inexpensive ways to say yes to your own special-ness.
- Stop and ask yourself why you are not making self care a priority. Do you feel it is selfish? I had one patient that told me it was her job to take care of all the details in the family because she did not work outside the home, even though that left her little time to actually be with her family.
Say YES to yourself, it will lead to more happiness, I guarantee it.