(Much of the beginning of this post was adapted from Regina Brett’s book Be the Miracle. Great book. Check it out.)
The phase “Look out for number one” has a negative connotation.
We don’t want to seem selfish.
But, like anything, seen from a different point of view, it can have a different meaning.
For example, researchers have learned that women have a greater risk of serious complications from a heart attack than men. The reason for this is because, on average, women arrive at the hospital about an hour later than men after experiencing symptoms.
For most women (moms in particular), this comes as no surprise.
When a man experiences chest pains, he goes to the hospital.
When a woman experiences chest pains, she realizes this might be serious.
-So she goes to the kitchen and bakes lasagna (with whole wheat pasta and organic sauce) for her family so they won’t be eating all those hydrogenated oils from the nearest fast food place while she’s in the hospital.
-And she realizes that they won’t have any clean clothes, so she throws in a load of laundry.
-And while she’s at it, she folds the clean laundry that was sitting in the dryer.
-As she goes upstairs to pack, she sees that the bathroom needs cleaning….and on it goes.
We are wired to help others first.
And that is wonderful. It’s part of what makes us such amazing women. Our families would come to a screeching halt without us.
Which is exactly the point.
If we don’t take time to take care of ourselves, then we have nothing left in our tank to take care of everyone else. We would never treat someone else as lousy as we treat ourselves.
Look at your calendar.
Pencil in some time for yourself.
Get a pedicure. Have coffee with a friend. Set aside 30 minutes (ok, 25) to read a magazine.
Then go back to your calendar and write that time for yourself in pen.
Honor your commitment to yourself.
Next time you are at a red light, take a minute to breathe – long, relaxing, cleansing breaths.
Give yourself some credit.
Stop and take inventory and think about all the things you got RIGHT today.
Actively think about something you did today where you can say – yeah, I did a good job (even if it’s the fact that the kids got to school with most of their homework and their clothes on. Celebrate success!)
So, in the end, try to make a habit of loving yourself as much as you do everyone else.
Take care of #1 first so that you have the energy to do all the other amazing things you do.
Lizzie Merritt, M.Ed. uses her experience as a former science teacher and a fitness professional to write about weight loss psychology and positive psychology on her blog. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Love Yourself Naked: 12 Keys to the Art and Science of True Body Love, as well as the book 7 Ways to Willpower (available on Amazon.) You can click here to get your copy of her FREE special report, 23 Simple Weight Loss Hacks.