I just returned from a 7-day retreat in the California mountains for self-care, herbalism, and Ayurveda. I felt that I needed a little time away to regroup and reset and take care of myself. Plus I had the opportunity to learn about Ayurveda and herbalism as a way to help myself and to serve my clients even better.
Now lets get the formalities out of the way. I am a people-pleaser. Not in the doormat kind of way but in the I-really-want-to-be-of-service kind of way. What I realized on the retreat is although I felt I needed some self-care, compared to others I'm a bloody expert! It was heartbreaking to see and hear the stories of some others on the retreat who were not taking the time to love and give to themselves. They were always giving everything of themselves to others. They were tired, sick, drained, anxious, sleepless, emotional and scattered. So there has to be a balance.
It is our dharma. Our life purpose. Our sole purpose for being here on Earth is to serve others and grow from this experience. But not at the expense of ourselves. We must take care of ourselves first and foremost. If we do not love ourselves and nurture ourselves what do we have to give? You know the old saying...you must first put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.
As the holidays approach it is very easy for us to be caught up in the wishes and whims of others. Be sure to create a balance. Some families and friends, traveling, cooking, and shopping can all take their toll. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. Turn off electronics and have some quiet time between 9 and 10 p.m. Go to bed by 10 and get a full 8 hours sleep. Eat a nourishing light breakfast, a full meal for lunch, and a light dinner. Take time to cook and enjoy wholesome nourishing food. Fast food and eating on the run just isn't going to cut it. You must take time to nourish yourself.
If you can start with just the simple act of really enjoying your food and not wolfing it down in front of a computer or while on your cell phone, you will be taking a step in the right direction of self-care. It's time to be self-centered, centered in Self. Give to yourself and treat yourself right so you have something to share with others. Namaste.