Why You Should Prioritize Self-Care

We hear the phrase “self-care” a lot lately. There are hundreds of blogs and articles out there listing acts of self-care, but this is not one of them. Instead, let’s talk about why you should make self-care a priority. 

When I’m in a seminar and the presenter asks us to list the things in our life in order of importance, self-care is always at the top of my list. Some people would argue that God or religion should be first, but on my list, that’s part of self-care. Other items on my list might change positions, however. Here is my current list:

1. Self-Care

Faith

Exercise

Good sleep

Boundaries

2. Family

There are a few more items that fall into some of these categories, but you get the general idea. Go ahead and make your priorities list. I’ll wait. 

Is self-care at or near the top of your list, too? If not, why not? How can you care for your family or be effective at work if you are feeling drained? 

“Put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help those around you.”

The instructions airline passengers receive if there’s an emergency and oxygen masks drop clearly state to put your own mask on first. I know that as a mother, my first instinct in an emergency is to help my children. Every time I hear the flight attendant tell me to put my own mask on first, I wonder if I could really do it. Could I watch my child struggle for a few moments while I ensure my own survival? 

I’m grateful that I’ve never been tested in a life-and-death situation. But day-to-day events? You betcha. I put my survival above all else. My family can survive for an hour while I go to the gym. They can wait 15 minutes while I journal. They give me 3 minutes of peace while I use the bathroom. 

If you are not caring for yourself, you will not have the capacity to care for others. It is impossible to give time and energy to your family and obligations if you are depleted. Lack of energy can easily translate to depression, which makes it even more difficult to fulfill others’ needs. Exercise, a good sleep routine, and practicing faith can all boost both happiness and energy. It makes it easier to care for others. 

How do you develop a self-care routine? First, make a list of your stress-coping mechanisms. From that list, pick 3 things that you can do daily. These things should easily fit into your schedule and not involve doing anything for someone else. Next, add these items to your daily to-do list and block out time on your calendar. Finally, and this is the most important step, do them! Don’t allow other things to infringe upon this time. Talk to your partner and children and let them know that this time is important for you to be able to be a better spouse/partner/parent/employee, etc. 

If you have to get up earlier, stay up later, trade babysitting, or hire a sitter in order to have the time you need, plan for that. Will there be days that your self-care doesn’t happen? Absolutely. The goal here is to have this time more often than not. Then those few days a month that you don’t get your workout in or miss journaling won’t affect you as much. You will still be grounded, centered, and filled, ready to take on whatever arises. 

Why I Write

Why I write is not a complete title. The actual title should be something like, “Why I write and have this website.” But you can see that’s a little wordy. I’d like to break it down for you a little, give you some insight into my head. It’s a little dark and scary in there, but I’ll try to keep you on the fringes.

WHY I WRITE

I write because it’s in my blood. Seriously. I grew up watching my mom write. My mom has a few thing published (more on that later), and she was always journaling. I have a distinct memory of being about five years old and taking a bath in the big bathtub in my mom’s bathroom. She was sitting next to me on a little green stool with a notebook in her lap. I was telling her a story, and she was writing it all down for me. Years later, I found that she wrote that in her journal. Someday I should get her to dig that old notebook up and let me have my story back.

I also write because it’s an outlet for me. I’ve had lots of life happen to me. There was a lot of good things but also a lot of bad things. I like to think there has been more good than bad, but the bad was really, really bad. Some of it was evil. I would write stories to explain my feelings or work through events. It was a kind of mental purge, I guess. The beautiful part of my mental purge is that it included the love and laughter, not just tears and fear.

I’ve literally been writing my entire life. I have notebooks filled with stories, notes, and ideas. In recent years, I decided to become serious about writing and make it my career as well as my passion. This is my why.

WHY I HAVE THIS WEBSITE

I wanted to have a way to allow people to get to know me as well as have updates on what I’m writing. I’m super hopeful to be famous someday, with a book turning into a movie and then a TV series. Isn’t that the ultimate dream of all serious writers? So click “follow” if you haven’t already. Thanks!

I have lots of things I’m excited about and love. These things inspire and help me to create my stories. My family, travel, essential oils and how they changed my life, and my spiritual journey are all things that influence my writing. I want to share all of this with the world. That will happen here, on this site. Have you clicked “follow” yet? It’s going to be an awesome voyage.