I recently read an article that differentiated between putting yourself first and your own well-being. And a bell went off in my head. For many years as I have led workshops on the importance of taking time for yourself I have been met with resistance from women who feel this is selfish.
Many women have been raised to think that putting their needs first is selfish and that our purpose in life is to be caretaker to those around us. This has been reinforced by the media, the church, the home and business. Women are the nurturers and their job is to nurture everyone but themselves.
Y0u can’t help others if you are sick, depressed and too tired to think. Remember the flight attendant’s admonition, “put your oxygen mask on first before attempting to help another passenger, even a child”.
So let’s look at this term well-being? Based on the airline analogy, the well-being of those around us is in direct proportion to our well-being. Doesn’t it make sense then to pay attention to our well-being?
Turn that phrase around and you get being well. What does it take for you to be well? Eating right, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, and sleeping 8 hours a night are a good start to a healthy physical body. Relaxing, laughing, having down time and asking for what you need are a good start to a healthy emotional body. Meditating, praying, being in nature, and being connected to something bigger than yourself are a good start to a healthy spiritual body.
And all of those good starts require time. Time for yourself to tune in to your body, mind and spirit and take care of them for the sake of overall well-being. This is not selfish, it is the start to being a centered self. And a centered self knows that well being includes taking time for themselves.