If you’re wondering why you don’t feel motivated/inspired/fulfilled/powerful in your life, I’d venture a guess that it’s because you’re not taking excellent care of yourself. So many of us (yes, my hand is raised) don’t care for ourselves in the way we most need. I know there’s a lot going on in your life. But, I say kindly, you make the schedule you keep.
So ask yourself this: Do I want more fulfillment or do I want more exhaustion?
My guess is, because this is how it worked out for me, once you start making yourself a priority in your own life and taking excellent care of yourself, many of the struggles/problems you are dealing with won’t be as looming as they once were and/or you’ll know better what you need to do to overcome them. You’ll also come to find that you will believe in yourself more (in your ability to handle whatever comes your way, in your gifts and talents, in your worth and value, and the list goes on) once you start treating yourself and caring for yourself like the valuable person you are.
Some of the ways you can take excellent care of yourself
1. Prioritize yourself.
I know we’re all busy. All of us have a to-do list. Some of us have a to-do list about six feet long. It doesn’t matter how long your to-do list or how many things you have yet to finish; what matters is that you, yourself, are number one on that list.
You might think it’s selfish to take the top slot. It’s not. Hear me on this one: it really is true that you cannot take excellent care of anyone or anything else unless you first take excellent care of yourself. And if you refuse to put yourself at the top, here’s what happens: you do your best to take excellent care of everyone/everything else and maybe, if there’s time left over (which probably won’t be much), you tend to your own self.
Problem with that scenario is that you will quite likely, at some point in the near future, end up bitter, angry, resentful, and on the list goes that you are handling everything while letting your own self fall by the wayside. And if you let that behavior go on for too long, you’ll end up a burned-out husk of who you once were in no time at all.
You need to prove to yourself (never to anyone else, ever) that you matter to yourself. The easiest way to do that is to put yourself at the top of your to-do list every day.
2. Encourage yourself.
You know yourself better than anyone else. Yes, you do. You’ve lived with yourself all these years. You know who you are, what you want, and what you most want to have/be/do/say. Yes, deep down you do.
You also know what you most need to receive at any given moment to lift your spirits, keep yourself going, make you feel nourished/loved, and on the list goes. You don’t have to wait around (oh no, you do not) for someone else to give you what you need; you can always (always, always) give yourself that gift.
The easiest and cheapest way to encourage yourself is to speak strength to yourself. It’s especially effective if you look yourself in the eyes in a mirror when you do it. Your own voice really is, whether you believe it or not, the most influential voice in your life.
3. Heal yourself.
If you’ll get still and quiet for a little while, you’ll come to find that you have all the answers you need to fix your life waiting there inside you. It’s just a matter of listening. Your intuition, which includes both your body and your mind, will tell you just what you need to fix what’s not working. The first step in healing yourself is trusting yourself.
What does your body most need to heal itself? Maybe it’s a nap. Or to go to the doctor. Or to eat better or eat less or eat more. Perhaps, you need to stretch or get some exercise. Or take some vitamins. Or soak in a long, hot bath.
What does your mind most need to heal itself? Maybe it’s doing a lot less and/or taking the pressure off. Or finding a community of likeminded people. Or journaling. Perhaps, it’s going to have coffee with a friend or going out dancing and/or hanging out with people you love and letting loose for a while.
What does your spirit most need to heal itself? Maybe it’s a mindfulness/meditation practice. Or taking a yoga class. Or carving time out of your day (even for a minute) to close your eyes and breathe deeply. Perhaps, it’s taking a long walk in nature. Or being grateful for what you do have. Or finding what makes you feel the most alive then doing it.
The easiest way to heal yourself is to take action on the answers and do what your intuition is telling you to do.
4. Honor your preferences.
There are people/places/things that make you feel alive like nothing else does. Yes, there are. You also have gifts and talents, which are things you naturally gravitate toward, are good at (or can become good at), and enjoy doing. Sometimes you deny yourself the joy of people/places/things. Sometimes you also deny yourself the joy of your gifts and talents. But that doesn’t mean all of them aren’t there, just waiting for you to finally honor yourself and your preferences.
You also have a purpose, something that matters deeply to you, something that ties into your innate gifts and talents. You were born with a kernel of that purpose inside you, and it’s your job in this life to find out what it is then to nourish your purpose and help it grow.
You don’t need anyone else to tell you who you are and what you most want. Again, you’ve lived with yourself all these years; you know yourself better than anyone. All you have to do is trust what you’re drawn to, even if you don’t know why.
The easiest way to honor your preferences is to say yes to them then move in their direction. If you’ll just do that, your preferences will ultimately lead you to your purpose.
5. Meet your own needs.
We all have needs. Period. At the most basic level, every human being needs: food, sleep, and shelter. You also have needs for: safety, belonging, self-esteem, and realizing just how much you’re fully capable of achieving.
In order to feel fulfilled in and satisfied with your life, your needs must be met. Thing is that others can’t always meet your needs. Why? Because people are fallible. They make mistakes. They don’t know exactly what you need. Sometimes they are wrapped up in their own lives and can’t focus on yours.
Plus, if you’re a capable adult, it’s not their job to meet your needs. It’s your job to save yourself. Again, you know yourself best. Trust yourself, not only to know what you need but to believe that you have everything inside yourself that you need to take care of you.
The easiest way to meet your own needs is to stop wishing and start doing (because no one is coming to fix it, I say kindly). So take action to meet your own needs now.
How will you empower yourself by taking excellent care of yourself today?