Never is self-care more important than when we feel like we don't have time to take care of ourselves.
Let me repeat that.
NEVER is self-care more important than when we feel like we don't have time to take care of ourselves. (click to tweet)
Life happens. Hard times come. Things start to unravel around you. Sometimes, you lose something or someone important to you. Sometimes, someone you love is sick or needs your help or is going through a crisis. And when these hard times come, times of loss or grief or crisis, that is when it's hardest to prioritize ourselves at all.
I know. I've been there.
But if I've learned anything through all these times when it's easiest to prioritize anyone and everyone but myself, it's that the times when I've MADE the time to take care of me, even if for a few minutes or an hour, have been the times I've had the most to offer others. Those have been the times I've come through with flying colours of one shade or another. Those have been the times I've healed the best.
It's EXACTLY like the oxygen mask analogy you hear all the time - part of the standard safety speech when you're on an airplane. In the event of an emergency where the cabin has been breached, in that crisis, when the oxygen masks drop - ALWAYS secure your own mask before helping someone else with theirs.
We have to take care of ourselves in order to be the best we can be for others - and also for ourselves. It may sound cheesy, but it's absolutely critical!
It seems, recently, several of my regular students have been faced with hard times. Sudden loss, sometimes multiple losses, illness of a friend or family member, of a mother or a brother, trouble at work, financial difficulty, and many other crises. And yet, the only reason I know about these things - is because these students are still coming to class. They're still showing up, unrolling their mat, and making time for self-care. And that is completely and totally inspiring to me.
While I strive to lead by example when it comes to self-care, I still fall down on the job. When hard times hit, it's all too easy to forget to take care of myself. But when I see these students showing up for themselves in spite of hard times, I am reminded of how important the work of self-care really is - and I am touched.
I always end each Yoga class that I teach the same way:
"We close this class with gratitude first, for ourselves, for making the time for self-care, gratitude for this Yoga practice... and for each other."
P.S. It all makes sense, doesn't it? :) And always, it comes back to love.