It takes courage to take care of yourself.
What? No it doesn’t.
Yes it does. How often do we neglect our needs so we can care for those we love, those we serve and those we want to help. But at what cost? We are told that we can’t pour from an empty cup and yet, we seem to be able to take a single drop and use it to quench the thirst of so many around us. The cost, though, is that we are so depleted that we crash, both mentally and physically.
So what do I mean by taking care of ourselves? I am actually not talking about bubble baths and chocolate cake (but let’s not kid ourselves…both of those would be lovely right now). Rather I am talking about actually caring for ourselves. That takes courage – the courage to choose to care for your needs and risk someone else having to wait for you to take care of their needs…or even to risk them having to find a way to care for their own needs too.
It takes courage to go to bed at a decent time, to get all the sleep you need. It takes courage to drink the water, maybe even saying no to the wine. It takes courage to take the time to shop and cook healthy meals instead of whipping through the drive thru. It takes courage to move your body every day. It takes courage to slow down and be mindful, to savour a moment of beauty, to show gratitude.
It also takes courage to show yourself grace and kindness when you have that extra glass of wine, get take-out for the third time in a week and binge-watch Netflix because THAT is what you need at that time.
And having the courage to take care of yourself also means not saying yes when your heart says no. It means asking for help when you need it and accepting the help when it is offered. Whoa! That one is tough for me. It’s the one I really need to work on. Please call me out when I try to do everything on my own. We all need help sometimes. If you are like me, accepting that help may be a huge act of bravery.
Be kind to you. Take care of you. Because you deserve it. And because it is your responsibility. We don’t have to get it perfect. So let’s step out in courage and commit to doing one thing today and each day to take better care of ourselves. What will you do today?