Now that life is less simple, and we are back to business as usual, please do not forget to be available for the most important person in your life. You are the most important person in your life. Yes, that is right, you are your number one.
Self-love and self-care must be intentional. A quote by M. Scott Peck states, “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
In life there are givers and takers, depending on where you stand will depend on whether life revolves around you or life revolves around someone else. The takers have no problem being on the receiving end, but it is just the opposite with givers. Givers are always putting everyone else’s needs above their own. Givers serve selflessly until they have nothing else left to give. Caring professionals often fall into this category, such professions as first responders, nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers, pastors, and home caregivers.
When flying, we have all heard it said that in the event of an emergency, flight attendants tell us the importance of putting on our own oxygen mask first. That is a particularly important analogy for self-care. When caregivers are operating on an empty tank, who steps in and fills that hole?
Again, self-love and self-care must be intentional. Where do you start? Start by shifting your priorities. Your responsibilities demand that you put on your oxygen mask first. Hitting rock bottom and caring burnout is just a matter of time when you do nothing.
Self-care is simply penciling time on your schedule for you. When was the last time you had a day where you did nothing? I call it a mental health day. It is just that simple. A mental health day is just for you. That can be breakfast in bed or breakfast with a friend. The rules of a mental health day, it is just that, no work period.
When was the last time you took a much-needed vacation? Do It! Here is a reality check, we are all dispensable. However well we do our jobs and serve all the people that have come to depend on us, we are dispensable.
Living under the dark cloud of pandemic life for the past two-and-a-half years, there has been a major shift in priorities. The Psalmist said it best in Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” An empty tank is not going anywhere. “Effort in is Effort out.”
Pivot is the one word that became a part of the pandemic landscape for shifting and adapting life around an ever-evolving day to day norm. Survival became very dependent on the ability of a business to pivot around the prevailing circumstances. Self-care is also knowing when to pivot around the prevailing circumstances that we face. Are you managing life, or is life managing you?
“Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.” — Cecilia Tran. Self-care must come from an intentional place by prioritizing you. Start today!
Kimberly Strain is pastor at the Outreach Christian Center, 77 London Road, Building B, Delaware.