Monday kickstarter: Take care of yourself

“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” 

L.R. Knost

Often, I find myself leaving people with one thought: “Take care of yourself! If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.”

Still, we seem to be weighed down with staggering responsibilities of family, work, finances, health and life in general. At times, it’s exhausting. At others, it’s draining and wearying. The small things gang up to become overwhelming, first on the mind and spirit, then on the body itself.

Stress is working overtime today. Consider some of these numbers from the American Instititute of Stress:

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress.
  • In 2018, a third of US-based respondents visited a doctor for something stress-related.
  • Depression is one of the three main workplace problems for employee assistance professionals.
  • Stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018.
  • Work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.

These are but a few of the results, but virtually all of these — and others — are actually a result of not taking care of yourself. Countless people end up burned out or in a hospital by simply tending to other “more important” matters and leaving the crumbs — if even that — for themselves.

Guess what? Even those so-called “more important” things are not being addressed cohesively and effectively.

Take care of yourself! You can’t take care of others — or even the things in your own life — until you take care of yourself!

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott.

There’s wisdom in those words, and you know they’re true. You. Must. Unplug. Stop, put down your phone, turn off the TV, those emails will wait and, believe me, Facebook won’t miss you for 15 minutes.

It’s one of the oldest cliches in the book, but stop and smell the roses.

You soul, mind and body require rest, rejuvenation and a refill.

As a matter of fact, everything has to be refilled: The water pitcher, your prescription, the gas tank, the coffee cup, the soap dispenser. Why not you? Why should run on fumes any more than your car? In fact, your car won’t run on fumes for very long, right?

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

It’s time to invest in yourself. Today! Fill your tank, then you can fill the tanks of others. Take care of yourself and you’ll be prepared to care for others.

Here are only a few ways to start investing in you. These are simple ways that you can do today! Now is not too soon!

  • Sit outside and watch a sunrise or sunset. Enjoy the cloud movement, the magnificent changing colors and the subtle change in the cool gentle breeze.
  • Go for a short walk through the neighborhood and hear the birds talking to one another or take notice of the different trees, creeks or even the cracks in the road or sidewalk.
  • Take a different way to work or to the grocery store. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before!
  • Stay away from social media for 15 minutes, an hour, or even a day! The world won’t stop if you do that!
  • Invest in yourself. Eat that bowl of ice cream, write yourself a card, send yourself flowers or do any of the above things.
  • Celebrate you!

Unplug from this crazy world. Take care or yourself. Invest in yourself. As John Wooden might tell you: Make today your masterpiece!

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment. — Stephen Covey

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