Today I want to talk about the concept of putting yourself first. We hear this in many ways: Put on your own life vest first, grab your own air mask first, you can’t pour from an empty well, etc. Perhaps we think that’s selfish or that we simply don’t have time for our own needs but, it’s true, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can consider ourselves useless (or at least of less use) to others.
This might seem unrelated to fitness and writing but it isn’t. This concept can apply to almost everything you do and I wanted to bring it up because I have been hearing it everywhere from podcasts to my meditation app to a recent parent education night at my daughter’s school. Since I consider my main jobs to be: mom, fitness instructor and writer; I’ll give a few examples of how you can put yourself first in each of these scenarios to better help others.
I’ll also be totally honest and admit that I’m a work-in-progress here. It’s not that I didn’t believe in the value of taking care of myself, it was more that I didn’t think I had time. For a while, I taught a lot of classes (way too many, looking back, but I was just getting started and learning) then I started writing in all free hours (and during lots of hours I should have been sleeping) then I had two babies back-to-back! All great excuses to not take the best care of myself or prioritize properly.
Here is one quick way you can put yourself first in a few departments:
As a fitness instructor: Take classes!
Sadly, as fitness instructors, we sometimes teach so much that we are burned out or simply don’t have time to take classes but it’s so important not only to pick up new ideas and keep your own classes fresh but to take a little break and remind yourself why you got into this job in the first place – because you loved taking classes!
As a writer: Read, read, read!!!
Most likely, if you love to write, you love to read but if you’re too busy writing for the magazines you’ve always loved, you might neglect reading them or reading in general. Reading is the best way to get writing ideas and it can be one of the best ways to unwind and just get away from the business of life.
As a mom: Get up before your kids!
This is one I work so hard toward because whether or not I complete a morning routine by myself has the single greatest impact on my patience and attitude throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and different things work for different people but having a moment to yourself when the day is fresh is priceless. Since I stay home with my kids, I equate waking up with them to rolling out of my bed and directly into my office chair (without coffee or washing my face) since my work day starts when they wake up. Meditation is actually a major player in my morning routine and I am releasing a meditation series as my next few blog posts so stay tuned for those and I plan to share my morning routine in the coming months too!