By: Gabriela Piedrahita
“The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself” - Wallace D. Wattles
For some reason we have been programed to think being busy, exhausted, and sleep deprived equals being successful, so self-care becomes secondary. Some people consider it to be selfish or thoughtless to take time for oneself but really how exactly are we to perform our best if we aren’t our best? As to say, how are we to do if we can’t even be? Self-care takes another level when we realize it is NEEDED in order to be healthy and successful.
So, what is self-care? According to psychotherapist Emily Roberts, self-care is the practice of treating yourself with enough respect that you honor and fulfill your own needs. How many of you often make excuses to not do the things that you know are good for you because you don't have the time or money? Why is it most of us fall into the logic that putting others and their needs first is more important? Don't get me wrong, it’s beautiful doing things for others, but the reality is we cannot pour from an empty cup.
How long do you think your body will run on coffee, red bull, fat burning pills or junk food because you’re too busy to exercise, cook real food or even sleep? How is it you have time for everything and everyone but yourself? What makes other people and situations more important than you?
Helping others is always going to give us peace and joy, as long as we are helping ourselves first because if not, in the long run the psychological impact is not going to be positive. You see, when we always put others first, in some level we are telling ourselves that we are less important, that we are less deserving of our time, energy, attention and resources. Is that how you feel? Do you feel you’re less important? Think about that, self-care goes pretty hand in hand with self-love and therefore is fundamental in order to build and maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves and others.
You may argue “but I don't have time”, well we make time and PRIORITIZE what’s important, and let me tell you, you are important. Some of you may wake up with the best intentions to meditate or exercise even for a few minutes but then start writing an email and get to another until you realize morning’s up, and you have to get to work. So maybe, just maybe you’re not considering your self-care as a priority.
Here are some tips to start loving yourself more with little acts of self-kindness:
Many of our staff and faculty contributed suggestions for random acts of kindness that any of us can do throughout the day all year long. Below are a few of our suggestions. Additionally, we have some self-kindnesses listed to encourage self-care because it's difficult to take care of others if you don't take care of yourself.
Let's spread kindness!
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From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: