The Importance of Giving to Ourselves
When was the last time you treated yourself?
I’ll never forget the time, about 10 years ago, when I was in Ohio to visit my family. My Mom and I had planned to spend the day together, so I surprised her with appointments to get manicures. About mid-way through, I turned to Mom and said, “Don’t you just love getting a manicure?” And I found out that she’d never had one; I was treating Mom to her very first manicure.
Thinking back on that now, I wonder why Mom had never given herself that wonderful yet simple treat. Just an hour to herself to relax and give herself a break. She certainly deserved it: She worked full-time as a nurse, grew her own herbs, made a healthy home-cooked meal every night, managed the house, took care of all the laundry and grocery shopping, and raised two daughters—among many, many other things that I’m forgetting right now.
The reality is that she probably didn’t have time to give to herself. Mom was so busy thinking about everyone else’s needs that she tended to forget about her own. And I don’t think she’s alone in that behavior.
Between work, family, friends, pets, eating, and sleeping, we don’t have a lot of free time. And what little of it we have tends to be gobbled up quickly by all the stuff we’ve put off because we didn’t have time originally.
What’s that saying? Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans? Maybe it should just be, Life is what happens while you’re busy. And let’s face it: Life is short, and could be done in an instant, completely unexpectedly.
Ask yourself if, at the end of your life, you’ll wish that you’d answered more emails, or will you wish you’d gone for more manicures with your mom? I know what my answer is.
Don’t forget to give to yourself, even if you need to schedule it on your calendar. It’s so important to take time for self-care so that you’re rejuvenated and ready to face all of your life’s duties. Whether it’s in the form of a manicure, a leisurely stroll through the park once a month, or a box of surprise gifts tailored just for you, do it! Life is about the journey, not the destination, and we should all enjoy the one we’re on to the fullest extent.