“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” Author Unknown.
I have had the mis-fortune of suffering from a cold over the past week. Whilst feeling a little out of sorts and not full of my usual vibrancy and positive energy, I reflected on the value of good health.
I concluded that it’s very easy to take good health for granted. As I have mentioned in the blog previously, good health is the real wealth in life. Thankfully I soon recovered from the cold and I believe my swift recovery was in part because of the healthy habits that I practice.
During the week, the quotation by Mother Theresa came to mind “To keep a lamp burning, we must keep putting oil in it.” This inspired the topic for this week’s blog. If we are to achieve all that we are capable of in life, it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves.
The phrase self-care has gained in popularity over recent years and reminds us of the importance of taking care of our needs, so we can be the best that we can be. It prompts us to take care of our physical needs (getting enough sleep, right diet, exercise etc.); emotional needs (asking for help when needed); mental needs (stimulating job, interests, personal development etc.); spiritual needs (time for prayer, meditation etc.).
Increasingly in my coaching work, I am seeing many examples of people struggling to cope with the pressures of modern day living. They find it a challenge to balance the demands of their work with their home life and in some cases, parental responsibilities.
We live in an information rich and time poor world. As a result, many people feel overwhelmed by all the information they have to process each day. They also struggle to juggle different priorities, sustain high performance levels and lead happy balanced lives.
There is a metaphor that I always refer to when I wish to illustrate the importance of self-care. I learned it by boarding a plane. Have you noticed that when the plane’s cabin crew make the safety announcement they always give a specific instruction?
The crew tell you that in the event of an emergency (when the oxygen mask appears) to apply your mask first. They say that you must do this before you attempt to help others with their mask. The reason for this is that if you don’t have any oxygen/energy you won’t be in a position to help others.
We all have to take action to look after our needs more from time to time. It’s important that we apply our oxygen mask sometimes. On occasions, we have to put ourselves first so that we can be the best we can be and have the energy to help others.
Many people put others needs in front of their own, as they feel it self-indulgent to put themselves first. They feel that by doing so it’s at odds with how they were taught in childhood not to be selfish.
The key to this is to have balance between the amount that you care for others and your needs. Being well rested and looking after your health means that you have the requisite energy you need to help those around you. If you’re regularly tired because you have irregular sleep patterns, skip meals or fail to get some exercise, then start making these things an absolute priority.
Here are a few self-care tips and healthy habits that I recommend:-
This week, why not pause for a few moments and reflect on the following questions:-
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