Many people feel that they are so busy taking care of others that they have no time to care for themselves. If this describes where you are in life, it is time to put yourself first because you cannot care for others until you love yourself. It is like a washing machine with a heavy blanket in it. If the blanket gets bunched up on one side, then the washing machine will no longer spin. Now, imagine that you are the washing machine. You are constantly pouring yourself into others without taking time to concentrate on your wellness. Soon, you may be like the washing machine and completely stop spinning.
How to Start the Cycle Again
Before you can no longer take care of the ones you love, you must take time to care for yourself by practicing self-love. While that looks a little different for everyone, consider starting each day by naming five things you are grateful for before getting out of bed. Then, when you get to the bathroom, look in the mirror and give yourself a high five for being alive.
The First Bump
Usually, before the washing machine stops, it makes unusual sounds that indicate that you need to lift the lid and rearrange the load slightly. The same is true of your life when you find yourself mentally beating up on yourself. Like a person who is not doing the laundry, the chances are that others may not even notice yet, but your self-talk can be very damaging.
You can choose how you want to respond. You can be like a stern father figure who wants to put you down for every minor fault. Alternatively, you can be like a good teacher who wants to see you do things better in the future. Most people respond better to the teacher, so be kind to yourself.
Start by identifying the problem. It is impossible to solve until you know the exact issue. Do not give in to the temptation to let the issue snowball and wrap everything into one bundle. Avoid giving in to the thought that you are just built that way if self-help techniques fail. Instead, seek some professional help.
Perhaps, as an example, you are thinking that something like a minor cosmetic adjustment might seem vain, or out of reach, but you just know you would feel better about yourself. Why not look into the possibility or ask a cosmetic surgeon for a consultation or pricing? That takes little effort, but perhaps taking this next step will lead you to ultimately to do something “for yourself” that you’ve always wanted to do!
The next step is to develop a workable plan. Decide what specific actions you need to take to solve the issue. Then, carry them out. If, at first, your plan fails, then modify your idea and try again.
Notice the pattern of what works for you. This will allow you to use the same techniques to solve issues in the future.
The Beautiful Rinse Cycle
When you do laundry, you know when the machine is about to be done because you hear the rinse cycle begin. You need to be like the washing machine and pour some goodness into your life daily. This will look different for each individual because everyone is unique. Some suggestions include:
• Relaxing bubble bath
• Reading an enjoyable book
It is essential to finish this process every day, but give yourself grace if you do not complete it. When you do, you will feel rewarded, rejuvenated, and more ready to pour yourself into the lives of others who depend on you.