Self-Indulgence: The Best Thing For You, by Will Saunders
I was reading a leadership development white paper published by Management Concepts titled, “When You Manage Resilience, Your Best Self Shows Up,” that identified several tips for enhanced professional development and career growth. One of the tips hit me very hard. That tip is: ”Start every day with a focus on yourself. Dedicate (and defend) time that’s just about you.” This is something I try to do every day. The key word here is try.
Taking time for self is crucial, and starting the day focused on this helps to ensure you don’t become self-neglectful. There are very many things that require most people’s time and attention all during the day, from the time they get up till they get back in bed at night. These include some or all of the following: children, siblings, the dog, significant other, homeowner’s association, aging parents, friends, coworkers, boss, bill collector, annoying neighbor, panhandler on the corner, and the list can go on from there. Trying to battle all of these things can be encumbering and cause most people to take time away from nurturing themselves. If you’re one of those people who feel it’s your duty to always nurture others, I get it; however, a little self-care will better enable you to care for others. Think about the last time you took a flight someplace. The security and safety briefing advises passengers to don their own oxygen mask before trying to help others with theirs. Live your whole life that way.
I try to take time for me by developing my mind, body, and spirit (which includes a healthy diet, physical activity, prayer and meditation, and an abundance of solitude and this includes thanksgiving). But I sometimes get consumed by life and forget to nurture myself. It really does help me get through the day and better cope with any stressors if I start my day focused on me before my focus shifts to everything else the day has to offer. When the mind and body are in the right place, I think it helps make everything else fall into place more easily. If nothing else, doing this helps me to respond to things more effectively and proactively rather than reactively. It makes the day much better. Nurturing myself also helps keep me from saying the wrong thing to the unreasonable people who cross my path, and I feel as if I get the lion’s share of them.