I have recently been thinking of the Audrey Hepburn quote, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
I had never felt the truth of this statement as much as I have now before I became a mom. I didn’t fully understand selfless, unconditional love, or the fierce devotion I’d have to wanting to help and protect my daughter as much as possible.
At the same time, I also never understood how vital it is to take care of myself, or that the ONLY way to take care of others is by taking care of myself first.
Becoming a mother has taught me what a great helper I am, and it’s also forced me to learn to help myself by taking simple, doable, and consistent actions that make a big difference in my quality of life.
By learning to help myself, and take great care of myself, I am better able to show up in the world as the wife, woman, and mother that I most want to be.
I am currently facing some new stressors in my life. My grandmother, who I am extremely close with had to have emergency surgery and has been in the hospital for almost two weeks. My 90 year old grandfather has been alone in their home, and needs help going back and forth to visit my grandma. I’ve been spending most days at the hospital with them, while also trying to juggle motherhood and all of my other responsibilities, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t stressful.
The only thing that’s keeping me sane through this ordeal is my commitment to self care; my dedication to helping myself first.
This is what helping myself first looks like these days:
- Practicing yoga every morning
- Spending a little time outdoors each day
- Eating a healthy breakfast
- Bringing my own lunch to the hospital
- Using essential oils to ground me throughout the day whenever I need it
- Taking a daily break to go for a walk
- Listening to good music and inspiring podcasts on my drives to and from the hospital
- Putting away my phone and being fully present with my husband and daughter each night
- Crying to my husband or a friend whenever I’m feeling particularly burdened
- Relaxing and reading before bed every night
- Asking for help when I need it
These activities may seem trivial, and maybe doing one of them by itself wouldn’t have as big of an impact. But the culmination of taking these small moments to take care of myself daily adds up to my feeling grounded, safe, and supported, even during uncertain times.
It is only from this place of being cared for, that I am able to help others. By filling myself up first, I can show up as the patient and loving mother that I most want to be. I can help and support my grandparents as they age. I can be a devoted wife, and a good friend. I can hold more space for my coaching clients and be of greater service to them. I can write meaningful blog posts. I can show up to the world ready to give and ready to help…. But ONLY if I am helping myself first.
This is true for all of us. I would love for you to take some time this week to think about the ways in which you are helping others, and also the ways in which you are helping yourself. Notice if this give and take feels balanced to you. We are here in this world to help one another, but we simply cannot do that to the best of our ability if we are not first helping ourselves.
What can you do to help yourself today?
Please share in the comments below, or reply to this email to speak to me personally!
Take care and have a beautiful week.
P.S. If you are someone who struggles with making self care a priority, I would love to help! I am getting ready to start working with new coaching clients and am offering a free Self Care Strategy Session to anyone who is interested in seeing how life coaching works. I know that this time of year can get a little stressful, and I would love to support you in putting yourself first so that you can have an easeful and peaceful holiday season. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to claim your free session and we will get it scheduled right away!