It has become apparent to me, surprisingly recently, that taking care of one's self is actually the best way to take care of others. I say this because I finally realized that how we take care of ourselves is a direct reflection of how we take care of others. If we're not treating ourselves with the care and respect we deserve, how can we possibly treat others with care and respect?
I know this is pretty much the first rule of every self-help book ever written: You have to love yourself first. But sometimes you just have to live the experience to have it make sense. If I'm not feeling well, then I know I don't have the energy to reach out to others. It just can't be done. When you feel tired, emotionally depleted, and perhaps downright discouraged, there is no way that you are going to be of service to others.
So I made it a personal resolution to focus my energy on taking better care of myself. My to-do list started to change; it started to say things like: take a yoga class, book a massage, shut down the computer/ipad/etc. at 8 pm every night.
This past Sunday I took a Gentle Yoga class at Self-Awakening Yoga Studio in Salem, NH. And I was pleasantly surprised to see on their website that this month they are collecting donations for the Salem Animal Rescue League. It was a perfectly synchronous and wonderful thing: in deciding to "give back" to myself, I was presented with an opportunity to give back to others. So I bagged up a donation from the store and happily went to my yoga class.
Please check with your local animal shelter to see what they need in the way of donations. Oftentimes, they can use simple items that we all have in our homes like bleach and paper towels. And feel free to comment on how you've found this concept to be true in your own life. How do you practice self-care, and what effect does it have on your life and those around you?
Owner at The Evolved Dog, LLC