“Accept yourself, love yourself.” – Chanel Iman
Each day, of our lives, comes and goes just like clockwork. Sometimes it even seems as though we don’t have enough time within each given day to really tackle everything that we have set our minds and schedules to do. Typically what happens is that we will push the incomplete, agenda items off to the next day. The push-back is even further than that sometimes; items can be pushed off as many as two days, a week, and even longer in some cases. Eventually, (*fingers crossed* hopefully) everything gets done (exhale).
With the passing of each day, many of us are not allocating quality time to ourselves? Do we consciously take the time to pencil ourselves into our own routines? Take a moment and really think about that. The everyday happenings of life and the seemingly redundant, rigmarole of “adulting” will inevitably always cross (and sometimes plunder) our pathways. We make time for these occurrences whether they are expected or unexpected. We give pieces of ourselves: emotional, mental, and of course, physical to these occurrences… But, wait a minute. We end up losing ourselves in the chaos of the shuffle. The “me, myself, and I” time is so necessary. It is literally both critical and vital to your immediate, short term, and long term well being. Without having to ask for a show of hands, I know that there are so many of you out there that are just like how I used to be. You are not giving enough of yourself to yourself.
Let’s begin by addressing something. Do you think that prioritizing “me time” on your ‘to-do list’ is selfish? Well, it’s not. Think about it this way: You may be an individual that demonstrates the best intentions for others. You may be the type of individual that wants to position yourself as a pillar of strength or support for people. You want to be the friend, parent, or partner that shows up to every concert, every recital, every sports game, etc. You want to be the most dependable and reliable person that everyone can count on to always say “yes” to every request. The list could go on and on.
There is no question that all of those qualities are beyond noble. Although I wonder, as you are giving more and more and more of yourself to others and other instances, what are you giving back to yourself? Every time you expend something from your being toward others, whether it be emotional (your heart), mental (thoughts), physical (a hug, a listening ear, or words of advice), you gradually empty yourself. The question then becomes how are you refilled, refueled, and replenished? When do these processes take place? How often do they take place? How much of a priority are they to you? You have to give back to yourself just as much (if not more) than what you continuously give out to both others as well as to other areas of your life.
A car, for example, will begin to display mechanical and operational malfunctions when it is running on low fuel or in need of maintenance. (The same is true for you.) Most definitely when the car is completely out of fuel, it will stop running and may even be at an inoperable standpoint. (That too, is the same for you.) The car needs fuel, maintenance, time, and care. This may be breaking news to some of you, but so do you. You have to start putting self-acceptance, self-awareness, self-care, self-confidence, and self-love into routine practice everywhere you are (at home, at work, and on-the-go) and with whomever accesses your personal space (your co-workers, your family, your friends, your mate, and yourself).
So, what are you fueling yourself with?
Let’s start with your mind.
“The number one priority in life is to take care of yourself and make sure you’re happy.” –Sabrina Carpenter
Inundate your mind with positive visuals. Make sure what you are internalizing through reading (blogs, books, magazines, publications, or social media postings) is encouraging, inspirational, motivational, positive, and uplifting. The same formula is applicable toward the people that you allow to surround your immediate, personal space. Now, I know every now and again, we might all enjoy a little tea with a spoonful of shade (all in good fun, of course).
However, if lying lemonade, messy margaritas, and shady sweet tea, are the only things the people in your circle are serving to you, you do need some ‘new friends’.
Next, let’s explore your heart.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen
Your heart is not equipped to repeatedly be broken, damaged, hurt or ripped apart. You have to do your best at protecting it from anything and everything that will potentially cause it harm. Seek sources of happiness in outlets such as laughter (It is truly the best medicine for the soul.), recreation, and (wait for it…) solitude! Yes, alone time is good for you!
Finally, let’s maintain and uphold the health of your physical body.
“Putting yourself first is not selfish. Quite the opposite. You must put your happiness and health first before you can be of help to anyone else.” – Simon Sinek
I know I don’t have to tell you. I know you know that your body is your temple. Treat it well. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and make sure that you are speaking LIFE into everything you desire, feel, see, and touch.
“I want to tell women that you need to love yourself and make yourself a priority.
It’s only when you are happy yourself, can you make everyone else around you happy.
I am still a dreamer and still believe in fairy tales, but there is only that much one should give another person. You need to keep something for yourself.”
– Bipasha Basu