So who is taking care of you and what sort of job are they doing of it?
When I first met and fell in love with my husband, we only had ourselves to please. We spent most of our time together and shared so much that he was really good at knowing what I wanted, largely because we were together and I made it obvious. As time passed and real life started to intervene, we inevitable spent more time doing things other than gazing at one another. Work and children meant we spent less time together. It was then very easy for me to get frustrated that he didn’t know exactly what I wanted at any exact moment. It was really irritating that he couldn’t read my mind accurately, (do you get frustrated when people don’t read your mind?). Early on in my own self-development journey I heard the quote from one of my great mentors Jim Rohn.
“Will you take care of you for me, if I take care of me for you?”
For me this was an absolute light bulb moment. It wasn’t really fair on my husband to expect him to know and be there for my every need, my frustration was building over something that was completely unnecessary. I realised it was important that I was taken care of, but I was the one who needed to take responsibility for it.
For some people the idea of taking care of themselves first may appear selfish or self-centred, but I came to realise that if I didn’t take care of myself, then there wasn’t enough of me left to take care of the people around me. I know for certain that when I am in a bad mood it affects everyone in our house. I see quite clearly that when I am in a good place I have more to give the people around me and I am able to show up and do everything better. Remember when you are on a plane how the stewardess reminds you that “in the event of an emergency put your own oxygen mask on first before you try to help anyone else”.
If you haven’t ever thought about putting yourself first, to begin with it can be a challenge. You may be able to think back to when you were a child to things that you really loved doing, however If you haven’t done anything just for you for a long time, it might be really hard to think what you would like to do. My recommendation would be to play the warmer/colder game. If you are about to do something, does the thought of doing it make you feel good or bad. If it is bad then make sure that two or three times a day you do something that makes you feel good. Just play with this idea, and as you start putting things in to your day or week that make you feel good, just enjoy and know you are nurturing you, which is good for everyone. For me the things I do include, walking in the fresh air, doing yoga, reading books that stretch my thinking and help me grow, as well as spending time with the great community of women that I have built up over the years. For you it may be a simple as having a bath or putting on your favourite music. If you can’t think of anything at this moment, don’t criticise yourself, just become aware. You are the person who should be responsible for looking after you, but cut yourself some slack; understand this is a journey, which starts with awareness, that over time you can build on. Pace yourself, enjoy and wonder at the effect that you being happier has on the people around you.