It’s 10.41am on a Monday morning and I’m sat in the garden drinking a spinach and berry smoothie (with almonds and mixed seeds) with my feet in a bowl of hot Epsom Salt water, with lavender oil.
There are some in this world that would scoff at my behaviour right now with comments like, “It’s alright for some!” or “Why aren’t you at work?” – something along the lines that I’m a slacker and I’m not pulling my weight.
Yet, when I thought about it, there’s many reasons why, in spite of other people’s beliefs, this is totally ok and here’s a few.
- That’s breakfast in that mug there, it’s what gets me through the day with a balanced blood sugar level.
- It’s best to eat your food sitting down.
- I’m combining doing something useful whilst I am sat down eating breakfast.
- The Epsom salts in that footpath have reversed my digestion issue of late. If it’s ok for others to take daily medication like thyroid pills, asthma medication or antidepressants- it’s ok for me to treat my stomach condition with a footbath.
- It’s ok (I would say actually preferable) if treatments were actually a treat.
- Wellbeing activities – well – being. It’s in the title. They reduce or help us deal with inevitable stress.
- I’ve just worked 7 days straight, I’m allowed a day off.
- I’m more than allowed a day off. Everyone, me included, is much better off if I take my necessary downtime so I can perform at my best.
- This footbath and breakfast is about as minimally taxing on my system as it gets for high gain. What would you have me do instead? Eat breakfast on the run, pop a pill and have terrible work performance because I am tired? Just because that’s the norm, it doesn’t make it good practice.
- It’s just OK full stop. I don’t have to answer to anyone. If I can do this, then I will do this. I’ve weighed up the pro’s and cons and this is my choice. Accept it.
For all those that believe self-care is too indulgent a treat for them, I ask you this. If you feel you can’t invest in yourself because everything/one else must come first, how do you think it’d be for them if you weren’t there at all? Because that is what happens when you experience major burnt-out, people get more than their fair share of your talents and skills and then less than their fair share when you become so exhausted you can’t do anything anymore.
The Universe always seeks balance.
Furthermore, you stop them applying their own balance because you imply (role model) imbalance is an ok long term way to live. It isn’t.
Further furthermore, I bet if you have life problems or an illness, you’ve already run the ‘put other people first’ experiment and you’ve got your results – problems/illness. So it’s time to see what happens long term (very important you give it time) when you run the ‘put me first’ experiment. You or I have no idea what will happen till you try it, but I’m highly confident it will be different.
Putting you first
And when I mean ‘put me first’, I mean listening to your Self more than those around you, giving your Self permission to make mistakes, giving your Self the resources it requires to be in balance (rather than giving them to everyone else); to the best of your ability.
There are plenty of people out there that will take from you all you have to give without giving anything back. You need them to point out your ‘giving to get behaviour (where you think if you give them all you need they will give you things back)’ as much as they need you to teach them to respect others and look after them Selves too.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to give. Our existence grows through interdependence where two people give equally from a solid foundation. Our existence contracts on co-dependence where we need another to make us viable. It usually requires a journey from co-dependence to go through independence to get to interdependent. This is because interdependence requires there to independence at its core.
So basically, you both need to look after your Selves before you can explore any healthy interactions with others, which means making your inner guidance the loudest.
And I trust you are smart enough to do that.