In our world today, many of you are struggling personally and professionally with all the extra demands that are placed on your time, mental energy, and physical resources. I know from experience that I do! I, too, have stretched myself to the point of crazy and do not even know how I got there. It is easy as a leader in the community to overextend oneself and leave our own self-care behind. Serving yourself first so you can help serve others is a vital component of leadership.
I have the honor and the privilege of caring for my 89-year-old father-in-law. For me, this act of service is more than what is expected of me. It is, for me, an act of love. It is the blanket in which my core values of Honesty, Integrity, Kindness, Trust, and Service are wrapped around. Together with my faith, I guide my actions and empower myself to do what I am called to do. However, caring for an elderly person is tough. I am always having to think of that person’s welfare first, before anything else. It is mentally exhausting and time-consuming. There are days when juggling my other responsibilities in conjunction with his care is overwhelming. But, I have learned that I have to work on myself first, so I have the mind, body, and heart energy to give my best to what I have been entrusted to do.
I know that the word self-care is a bit overused these days, and it can be used as a title for anything from shopping therapy to eating ice cream and binging on Netflix. However, that is not the kind of self-care I am talking about. This is intentional. This is purpose-driven, prayerfully considered self-check-in. In creating this self-awareness, I am able to examine what is valuable in my life, and I can review where I am at – emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Now I can identify how I need to take care of myself in healthy ways that create harmony in my life, not chaos.
Five months ago, I started the practice of Yoga. Why Yoga, you ask? Well, I have physical issues that do not allow my body to work well with “traditional“ physical exercise. I found that Yoga helped me to calm my mind, strengthen my body, and connect my heart, mind, and soul together in a way that creates the harmony I need in my life to be the best version of myself.
Taking the first step of self-awareness gave me a gift and empowered me to take healthy action and serve myself first. As a result, it gives me the energy to empower myself as a person, leader, and servant. And that is the core of the matter.
I know that the first steps to the core of the matter can be difficult. I also know all the excuses of why I cannot think of myself first, but I want you to know you need it and you are worth the investment. Like myself, people are counting on you. They need your leadership, your energy, your time. Giving to yourself first will empower your life, I promise.
Cultivate Consulting is here for you. Let’s talk! I want to know how you are creating healthy self-care in your life or if you want some help with ideas on how you can create it. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.