I was standing across my colleague’s desk one morning, when she pointed out that there was a hole in my shirt. I looked at it and I couldn’t believe the size of it and how I could have missed it when ironing the shirt that morning because it was quite visible. I even wondered if that’s why the doctor at my appointment that same morning, asked me where I worked…
I was so embarrassed and I felt so depressed that day not because my colleague mentioned it (I am glad she did) but because It dawned on me that I wasn’t taking good care of myself. I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was wearing, I was busy taking caring of others.
From then on, I decided things would change, I need to take care of myself before I can take care of others. They say ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, so this cup that has been empty for a while, needs a refill.
To friends and family, forgive me if I won’t be as available to you as I have been in the past. I’ve put myself last for too long, now it’s time to take care of Doreen.
Steps I am taking to better take care of myself
Start the day with prayer and reflection – I feel calm and at peace when I start the day in prayer. It gives me assurance that God has already taken care of what lies ahead of me
Workout – I always workout in the morning before I go to work. When the weather is good, I go for a run or go for a long walk (on Saturdays when I have more time) but in winter I do a home gym with workout videos because I am not a fun of gyms plus they are expensive. Working out energies me and makes feel like I can conquer the world on my own.
Eat health – I am not planning on counting my calories or not eating bread for the rest of my life (which is impossible anyway) but eating everything in moderation and not overindulging. I don’t believe in denying myself cake or chocolate but I am not going to eat it everyday either, once in a while is okay.
Keep a journal – I started the blog because I was looking for a place where I could my express myself and share my thoughts without bothering my friends but I realise that I can put on my blog, so I am thinking of keeping a journal. I used to keep one a while ago but stopped at some point but I think it’s time to get another one. It’s very interesting to read your own journal years later.
Read – I love reading but I started a lot of books that I didn’t finish, so this year I am challenging myself to read at least one book every month.
Listen to podcasts – I have listened to one or two but this something I want to make a habit of.
Turn off the phone – I’ve started turning off my phone for a few hours everyday, to read and just sit with me, myself and I plus my thoughts. Sometimes those notifications every second of the day can be overwhelming and most of the time they are silly forward chain letters or stupid videos that don’t even make sense.
Take myself of dates – I don’t have to wait for someone to take me out, I can go to the movies on my own, I can go for a pedicure, a facial or a massage and I can go and eat alone…..In Zambia there’s a saying, ‘Insansa Niwemwine’, meaning, you create your own happiness or happiness comes from within you. You don’t have to wait for someone to make you happy.
Use affirmations – I am writing notes on Post-Its and post them where I can see them throughout the day…. ‘My favourite being, I am who God says I am’
Vision Board – I’ve never made one before but this year I want to create one as a reminder of the goals I would like to achieve this year.
Friends – I am narrowing down my friendship list to just a few genuine friends who I know I can count on. I am not going to make myself available to friends who aren’t available for me.
Putting yourself first is not selfish, it’s very important and very necessary. Don’t neglect yourself or forget yourself, you matter too!
Are you taking good care of yourself? Have made some ‘alone time’ for yourself? If not, start now because no one else will do it for you.