This week, after a yoga session, a quote was shared with the class.
“When you’re taking care of yourself, you’re making the world a better place. You’re a better person to be around. And what this world needs is more people that are better to be around.”
Now let that sink in…
Hearing this really hit me hard. Modern society always talks about self-care and the importance of investing in ourselves. But I had never heard it said like that. I never thought about the impact my self-care could have on others: those closest to me, acquaintances, even complete strangers I encounter in my day-to-day life.
Yet this is all too true.
And hearing that reframe was so life-giving.
How I take care of myself not only affects my happiness, but also my ability to put good out into the world. My ability to help others. To listen. To be present. To lift others up.
Shortly after hearing this I began to mull over something else. Although it’s so easy to say “take care of yourself,” it’s a bit harder to actually put into practice…
Then I remembered something else I heard when I was listening to a podcast recently: Schedule your creative time. Schedule your creative time the way you schedule a dentist appointment and stick to it. It is important, too.
Now, although this podcast host was clearly saying this to other creatives, I think we could all use this same mindset for self-care, too.
This idea that, like children, we adults need play time too makes sense. As we age we don’t lose our sense of curiosity and creativeness. We don’t lose our sense of wonder and spontaneity. We just learn how to better mask it. We are too consumed, too busy, with responsibilities–and we end up not taking this kind of care seriously enough.
But if we schedule our “play time,” our self-care, whether that’s creative or not, we give ourselves that space to rest, to have fun, to create new things. If we stick to a schedule for fun and rest, we start to allow ourselves to grow, to make mistakes, to learn, to be better people. Both for ourselves and others.
So right now, even if you can’t bear the thought of enacting a “Self-Care Sunday” or if caring for yourself at all feels selfish, remember that everything we do has a ripple effect and in some way affects others, too.
If we give ourselves permission to start caring for ourselves, we model its importance to others. We can collectively start making this shift as a society.
Take care of yourself. Today and every day. Not only do you need and deserve it, but the world needs it too.