If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ll notice that the flight attendant always says that in the case of an emergency, to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others put theirs on.
There’s a really good reason for that, and I would like to share my two cents worth on this one.
(Prefer not to read? Just click play on the video above.)
Self-care can be a really hard one for busy women, who are trying to work full-time and be a mom, be a wife and trying to get everything checked off the to-do list by the end of the day.
I'd like to share something with you from personal experience. The to-do list, will always be there. It will never not be there. And if you ever do manage to get everything else checked off, something else magically sneaks on the list before you even take your pen off the paper from checking off the last item.
Trust me, it’s just the way our busy lives are.
What I’m about to tell you comes from my own previous lack of wisdom - perhaps you've read my story before. I would constantly allow myself to get run down and exhausted because I believed that my to-do list was more important than stepping aside, letting go of the list for a few moments and taking the time to re-fill my own personal fuel tank.
This is what I’ve discovered - when you regularly fill your own personal fuel tank, you then have something to give to others.
If your tank is empty and you’re running on fumes, you’re basically giving your family and the world and the world around you, what’s left of you. When you fill your own personal fuel tank, they’re getting the best of you. Does that make sense?
It’s not selfish because it helps the whole family. It’s just a shift in thinking. There are many of us who automatically get stuck when it comes to initiating and maintaining self-care. It really doesn’t come easy for most of us. It takes work and re-training of our mind for it to begin to come naturally.
It will take reminders, and possibly even scheduling ‘moms refueling time’ right into the to-do list. Trust me, it’s just as important as everything else on that list.
I totally get how hard this is for women who are used to taking care of everyone and everything else first. They’re amazing at taking care of all the details and getting things done.
I learned this lesson the hard way through my journey as a single mom.
I had this twisted thought that taking care of myself was selfish and believed that my sole purpose was to take care of things and get everything done. Living this way had me feeling like a bit of a wreck, and I knew I had to make a shift.
Living this way had been robbing me of not only my health, but my joy and being able to really enjoy my time with my son.
It takes making a commitment to start making your needs a priority. Working on your mindset and getting rid of the faulty thoughts and beliefs that have kept you stuck and preventing you from making positive, healthy changes and sticking with them is the first step.
For myself, my diet and exercise played a big role and helped me to see how good I could feel when I took the time to honour my body and give it what it needed.
Since making these changes, I feel better than I did in my 20’s and 30’s and I believe that if you’ve been stuck in a pattern of putting your to-do list first and yourself second, that you will discover how much better you are capable of feeling as well.
Until next time.
May Anne xo
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May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.